Monday, November 18, 2013

How hating hunters could decimate the lion population

Please note, I do not advocate or support lion hunting in any form. I just think people need to think about this beyond  knee-jerk outrage. 

There seems to be a strong anti-hunting outrage coming from people after Melissa Bachman was photographed posing for a picture with a lion she had shot.

This post is not going to deal with the shaky morality of the protesters (for instance, why is a protester upset about a lion getting shot and not a Kudu? And if you have problems with an animal getting shot are you Vegan?). This post is going to concentrate on how those same protesters could push the lion population from "vulnerable" to "endangered".

Its simple. Many game and hunting farms breed lions. They actually breed quickly and populations of lions have to be managed. So no matter what, if you breed lions you are going to have to have some type of population control. Which normally involves a process called culling.

Most game and hunting farms breed lions for the value they bring the farm. Not only to visitors who want to see them alive, but also to the hunters that want to shoot them. A massive portion of the worlds lion populations are held on these game and hunting farms.

Lions are not cheap animals to keep. They need a lot of meat! When I worked on a game farm I used to have to give our 5 lions a cow every week to survive on. Now imagine you have a farm of 50 lions, and each cow costs R3000. That is R30 000 in cow every week you need to feed those lions.

Now if a game farm cant sell of their excess lions to be hunted, theyre certainly not going to keep many of them. In fact, since theyre really expensive to feed you will find most farmers would have to get rid of most of their lions to create a sustainable system.

This means that stopping the hunting of lions would probably result in them moving from, "vulnerable" to "endangered" in several short years. So technically, those protesting against the hunting are actually pushing the animal closer to extinction.

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