Due to certain reasons beyond the management’s control, Bubye Valley Conservancy implies the possible culling of about 200 lions in their wildlife institution.
Bubye Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe is known for having the highest number of lions in the country. The institution which is the third-largest community of black rhinos in Africa has a total number of 500 lions. In the past, there used to be an estimated number of 450,000 lions in the world, but now it is at 20,000, what a wide margin huh? Statistics speculate that the number would most possibly reduce by a 50% rate in a couple of decades. The cat population is currently an endangered specie across Africa especially in Central/West Africa.
In July 21015, wildlife advocates around the world condemned Walter James Palmer, an American dentist and trophy hunter, for killing Cecil, the lion. Cecil is one of the major tourist attractions of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The 13-year-old internationally loved lion was not just a treasured lion but was also under study by the Oxford University.
At the death of Cecil, the lion, Zimbabwe which owns one of the conserves with a growing stability in the breeding of lions, feared the death of the lion and the escalating rate of illegal hunting of her wildlife animals may affect their tourism/economy as the safaris are one of their top tourist destinations; now the reverse is the case. The United States government in the bid not to promote illegal hunting banned trophy hunting imports as well. Ironically what was intended for the good of Africa is adversely affecting her.
To make matters worse, the declining oil prices have reduced the number of visiting wildlife enthusiasts from the United States. With that and the “Cecil effect”, it appears that tourists are visiting less especially when hunting is involved. Consequently, the management of Bubye Valley Conservancy says that they are currently battling with the overpopulation of the lions in the park and worse still, they are attacking and reducing the population of other animals.
As it is, they are willing to give out to other wildlife institutions that may be interested; they have also suggested that if worse comes to worst they will have to shoot about 200 surplus lions. This is a clear indication that they are finding it difficult to manage the large number of lions in their institution. Guess this is an indirect invitation to patronize activities like trophy hunting once again. Except that this time, legal permission is granted for it.
“I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation. If anyone knows of a suitable habitat for them where they will not land up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not be beaten up because of existing prides, please let us know and help us raise the money to move them.”- Blondie Leathem, general manager of Bubye Valley Conservancy
See Also: Lions Escape And Roam Kenya’s Capital