Monday, January 19, 2015

Dallas Safari Club cancels controversial Namibian elephant hunt, offers male leopard hunt in Mozambique

DALLAS - A Texas hunting club has cancelled plans to auction the right to kill an African elephant after the donor of the hunt withdrew the offer, the club's executive director said on Saturday. Ben Carter of the Dallas Safari Club told The Associated Press that the donor of the hunt, a had withdrawn his offer. The African elephant is earth's largest land animal. The World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading conservation group, regards it as “vulnerable,” a step below “endangered” and defined as “facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.” The Dallas Safari Club faced international criticism last year for auctioning a permit to shoot an endangered black rhino. That hunt has been postponed until the winner gets permission to import the carcass from Namibia. This year's auction prizes still include a 14-day trophy hunt in Mozambique for an adult male leopard. Animal welfare activists demonstrated across the street from the Dallas hotel where the club's convention was taking place. Angela Antonisse-Oxley, of the Dallas-based Black Rhino Project, said trophy hunts aggravate the serious problem of big game poaching in Africa. “A bullet is not going to save them,” she said. In an earlier statement, Carter said that “elephants, lions and leopards are not listed as endangered species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and, in fact, are overpopulated in certain areas of Africa.” “These species are commonly hunted in a legal, sustainable way, and where populations need to be managed,” the statement said. The opportunity to kill the endangered elephant was offered by the Gobabis Gymnasium School in a raffle tickets which sold single tickets for N$1 000 per ticket. The elephant trophy hunt was offered as the first prize in a lavish full package that consisted of transportation of the winning hunter from Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport, 10 days accommodation with all hunting permit fees, meals and non-alcoholic drinks included. A tracker and a vehicle were also offered together with field preparation for the trophy and snapshots to name a few. The raffle started running into trouble when the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)said it was not aware that Gobabis Gymnasium was selling raffle tickets which offered an elephant trophy hunt as a grand prize and started investigations which led to the cancellation of the hunt, won by an American citizen. Meanwhile the Dallas Safari Club is still offering a male leopard trophy hunt in Mozambique. Source: Online/AEP
. Source: AP

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