Part of the infuriating thing about this behavior is the fact that people like Jimmy have the audacity to call themselves ‘Conservationists’ and claim that their trophy hunts benefit conservation and local communities. REAL conservationists give their time and money WITHOUT insisting on killing something in return.
Well, I live in South Africa. I spent more than a year living and working in The Kruger National Park. I know many rangers. I also know professional hunters. I know owners of big game farms, and I know the situation with Africa’s wildlife pretty damn well by now. This is why I can say with absolute confidence that Jimmy is absolutely full of crap when he claims that trophy hunting funds conservation, feeds starving villages or keeps the ecosystem in balance by keeping animal numbers down. Those are 100% lies perpetuated by the trophy hunting industry and they’re easily disproved.
It is well known here that trophy hunting funds less than 2% of our conservation efforts in South Africa. Normal tourism (as in shooting animals with cameras only) raises over 15x more money for conservation than any form of trophy hunting in Africa does. Without brutally killing anything. Most people who do trophy or canned hunting like this, are only fattening the wallets of wealthy game farm owners who only care to protect their own animals from poachers coming on their property. This does nothing to protect animals in the ‘wild’ national parks where most endangered animals live.
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As for feeding locals, 9 times out of 10 the meat from a trophy hunt (especially if it’s a large animal) is left in the dirt for the scavengers because they cant be bothered to move the body or process it. Plus, the locals here don’t eat lions, rhinos or elephants anyway. They eat fish, chicken, pork and beef like most people around the world do.
When it comes to animal numbers, I wont deny that there are some species that are breeding out of control. Impala and warthog are often culled for this reason. I know a guy that kills an impala every single day as part of his ranger job. You know why that is? BECAUSE HUNTERS HAVE KILLED MOST OF THEIR NATURAL PREDATORS. Then the prey become outnumbered, they eat up all the food before it has a chance to grow back and then all the animals starve. That’s why Rangers have to shoot so many of them to try to keep the ecosystem in balance. But that’s just it.. Nobody comes here to shoot an impala. They come here to shoot lions, leopards, elephants and other big 5 animals more than anything else, thus making the imbalance in the ecosystem even worse, not better.
Ecosystems need to be better protected. Especially fragile ones that are so out of balance due to over hunting, poaching and habitat loss, like the African bush. A$$HOLES like Jimmy John are part of the problem, and so are you if they give him your money.
See more of the controversial images from Mr. Jimmy John’s African adventures in the video below.
In case there is some doubt about what I’ve said about conservation, you can read a much more in depth explanation here: The Myth of Trophy Hunting As Conservation