February 4, 2023

Sport hunting helps conserve African wildlife habitat

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By Richard Estes

I’m writing in defense of sport hunting in Africa from the viewpoint of a biologist who has devoted half a century to studying, writing about and promoting conservation of its unequalled wealth of “big game.” International outrage over the killing of Cecil became viral when photos of this superb blackmaned lion, an icon in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, illustrated accounts in the social media that it was lured out of the park and wore a satellite collar attached by Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCru). The director, Prof. David Macdonald, one of the most dedicated researchers and conservationists of African wildlife, has defended Wildcru’s cooperation with professional hunters, and so has Panthera, another highly respected international organization devoted to conservation of the big cats. The fact that the killing of Cecil led anti-hunters to donate more than half of a million dollars in support of Oxford’s lion research and conservation program, strikes me as one of the ironies surrounding this episode.<<<Read More>>>