Zambia Under Fire For Plan To Allow Thousands of Hippos To Be Killed By Trophy Hunters

First my usual disclaimer: I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or rare goats or famed wolves for trophies. The most recent example is the decision of the highly corrupt Zambian government to allow trophy hunters to kill thousands of hippos, including rare and threatens species for windfall payments. Some 1,250 hippos have reportedly been slaughtered under the program. Hunters are allowed to shoot two hippos at a time for a few thousand dollars.

The Zambian government is under fire over its dubious claim that the mass killing the hippopotamus population in Luangwa Valley is an effort to cull or control the population. Wildlife experts have denounced the program as little more than a corrupt case for trophy business run by government officials. Dr Mark Jones, Associate Director of the International Wildlife organization, has said that the justification is transparently wrong. The government has changed its rational from excuses like controlling a nonexistent Anthrax epidemic caused by hippos to needing to cull the population.

Indeed, a recent article alleges that the cull was ordered after a threatened lawsuit from hunting outfits after officials allegedly violated a poorly-written contract signed with Mabwe Adventures Limited in 2016 — and then giving the right to sell trophy hunts to another hunting outfit Umlilo Safaris.

There are only 130,000 wild hippos left and there remains a huge market in Asia for their tusks as a substitute for ivory. Hippos are classified as “vulnerable” in the Red List compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

I will again express my confusion on why there is such a thrill to these kills for trophy hunters. I am not sure of the trophy that is commonly obtained from a hippo. However, shooting a hippo with a high-powered rifle is about as challenging shooting cars in the airport parking lot. Yet, thrilled hunters are shown posing with the dead animals like they have achieved something truly grand in the killing giant herbivores.

35 thoughts on “Zambia Under Fire For Plan To Allow Thousands of Hippos To Be Killed By Trophy Hunters”

  1. One man one vote one time and then forever under a dictatorship. Second phase is strip the country third is retire to the Riviera or Costa Del Sol. What’s to complain about it’s the Democrat Model

  2. The press are quoting around $2,700/hippo for a cull of 1,500 hippos. Siluwe Safaris (on their Web site) are quoting their customers much higher for “trophy charges” (I’m assuming that’s the “package tour” with local transport, accommodations and food all found) of $8,470/hippo.

    Stipulating the moral and ecological objections to the “cull” for the record, even that package tour price seems low. But I know less than nothing about how Zambian corruption works, it might be a bargain. It’s scandalously low for a threatened species.

    But I’m with Prof. Turley on this. Granted you don’t want to be in the same body of water even near a hippo, where they have been known to be highly aggressive toward boats and lethal toward anyone actually in the water, that’s something local people know better than to let happen to them, you’d think. Just… leave… them… alone.

    .375 H&H, what Siluwe Safaris recommends as a “minimum requirement” for the “big five” game species, strikes me as light for something the size of a hippo unless you’re a pro and know exactly where to put your lead for best effect and do it every other day of the year. Call me a wuss, but .500 Nitro Express (the proverbial “elephant gun” caliber) or even .50 BMG would be what I’d try.

    But to what end? Unless you decide to be sporting about it, don full waders and enter the water for the shoot to make it a more even chance who dies in the encounter, shooting a hippo is about as exciting as putting a few holes in your car.

    In the caliber range we’re talking about tor anyone but a professional hunter (heavy), you’ll be shooting from prone position on a river bank and about in as much danger as you might be on a shopping trip, with two professional hunters nearby to take the kill shot if you blow it.

    Calling this “sport hunting” is bulls–t. Sport hunting is getting up in the dark so you can be in a duck blind at legal hunting hours, and actually trying to kill duck or goose overflying you. It’s sitting up a tree in an uncomfortable position for hours or treading a deer trail in camo reeking of buck urine in hopes of getting a shot at a deer.

    1. City hunter? We just waited for them to come into the apple orchard, got our two for the year and took them to the local sausage maker. For us it wasn’t sport it was just harvesting an annual crop like berries and and mushrooms.

      The ducks and geese. That took some driving to the Klamath Lake Beds with a license but no shells. We just watched for those smaller ones the city hunters shoved under some marsh grass and brought in our daily limit.

      The big sport was going after money the city hunters paid us, mostly teen agers, to fill their tags while they gambled and got drunk.’ Lots of college educations paid for that way and didn’t have to wait for the psuedo Oregonian to kill someone thinking it was big foot.

      Sport? That ranged from using bow and arrow or a camera. With shells? That was a rite of passage when we received a rifle and one shell and were told come back with the unfired shell or the deer or don’t come back. One learned to never shoot just to be shooting and when it came time to get drafted we started at expert and worked our way up.

      The hard part was inventing the city hunters story about the well placed shot after hours of tracking.

  3. killing two birds with one stone. If Zambia doesn’t want the hippos ship them to the Rio Grande along with a few crocks Bingo no wall will be necessary

  4. Don Jr and Eric are on the way to Zambia. To bad the hippo’s can’t fight back with the Secret Service there protecting their arse.

  5. Those born from rape are apt to continue carrying and transmitting the genetic material that makes killing enjoyable.

  6. “I will again express my confusion on why there is such a thrill to these kills for trophy hunters. ”

    I think it is quite simple, these sorts of hunters are crap at what they do, they look for the easiest and least personally invested path and they take it. They don’t get that THEY are the prey…..being exploited by foreign goobermints for their (probably not so hard) earned cash. They don’t ‘get’ a thrill. They want you to see them as ‘thrilling’. They are not. They have no sense of value and no personal restraint. They are easy pickings for cheap outfits like corrupt Govs and privately owned fish-in-a-barrel shooting outfits. It is a marker on the loss of civilization that these sorts of agencies are popping up.
    It is also a sign of a really unhealthy Governing structure that they are so numerous today. The biggest head on the wall is just that….the Biggest Head.

  7. “Yet, thrilled hunters are shown posing with the dead animals like they have achieved something truly grand in the killing giant herbivores.”

    Such is the male psyche today. I tried listening to Jordan Peterson’s popular book “12 Rules for Life” and I practically threw up when I got to Chapter Two where he breaks down all of creation into Male vs Female: Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, even lobsters.

    That so many readers found Peterson’s book required reading shows how utterly spineless and lost people are today. The trophy hunters have lost any sense of inner rules and act out spineless behaviors out of a discordant appetite…for self. No surprise there

    Shooting any animal for sport is cowardly. Take the animal mano a mano and let us know how that works, Mr Macho.

    Better to tackle the Dawn Wall in Yosemite, climb it with no tools like Tommy Caldwell did, and that will speak volumes to your strength of physique and character. Read his book, “Push”. Raw guts on a once scrawny kid with a developmental disability

  8. The hippo is not a cow. It’s one of the deadliest animals in Africa.

    That said, this is truely a waste. The problem is that the Zambian government is corrupt, like most of the governments in Africa. I used to believe in nation building. All you had to do was export democracy, and infrastructure, and everyone could be free and enter the 21st century. I now understand how rare and precious Western democracy and values are. Our country was created by a determined act of will, and warfare, to specifically grant citizens personal liberty and justice. Africa is a pit of incessant war and strife, and what the rebels do to women and children there would make people vomit. I have no idea how to fix the government of Zambia, let alone save its hippos. The same politicians who see no intrinsic value in their countrymen certainly see no value in a living hippo. They live for the short term. Get the money now, quick, because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

    1. Karen S:
      “The problem is that the Zambian government is corrupt, like most of the governments in Africa. “
      After reading about the McCabe-Rosenstein junta at the DOJ and their attempted coup d’ etat against an elected President using a twisted interpretation of the 25fh Amendment, I’d say your pinpointing of third-world-like government corruption is continentally too narrow.

      1. Mespo,…
        It was mostly unknown to the American public at the time, and while he was still alive, but J. Edgar “protected” the U.S. in a similar manner by gathering dirt on Presidents, Congressmen, authors, actors, social activists, etc.
        Of course, this Hoover activity was undertaken with the purest of motives; to see if those presidents he investigated were, or could be, compromised/ blackmailed.
        Most of his investigations of this type was done prior to paasage of the 25th Amendment, but of course Hoover realized that he didn’t need no stinkin’ Amendment in the event that he wanted to take down a president.
        And it appears that a number of presidents and other political figure were fully aware of that potential.
        I think Hoover would have been proud of the recent generation of Hoover knockoffs like McCabe, Strzok, and others.
        I only saw part of the McCabe interview, but it occured to me while watching it that Hoover would have been pleased with a key FBI figure like McCabe.

    2. I Particularly like how rare it is in the middle of North America – the USA- where we have no democracy by the free choice of our ancestors who rejected it nine times and went with representative constitutional republic. Leaving us no way to export such a thing. Unfortunately they didn’t give us a defense against it returning as the camouflaged cover story for the worst Europe has to export.

      But just to ease up the story

      Here’s my sisters comment on that foreign ideologies top candidate’ Her answer to Ocasio’s war on Amazon.

      “I say bring it to Jacksonville. 25,000 new jobs. WOW. We have an ocean port, an airport, a train station and two interstates (10 and 95). Plus no sales tax. Plenty of land “”

      Best of all we don’t have AOC. .

      Stupid Cortez how typical for a New York Democrat Woooooman of the millennium. She reminds me of a fascist more than a socialist but then Hitler started out saying a Volkswagen in every garage and a job for every man. Must be why I am feeling a little

      déjà vu.

      Cortez Is still running around the Capital looking for Phil Abusters office.

      She says she wants to be on the appropriations committee because she understands when something is appropriate.

      She says we shouldn’t just teach Civics in schools, we should teach about all automobiles.

      When they delivered a new TV to her office and read on the box built-in antenna she asked the delivery person if ‘antenna’ was a city in China.

      She just completed a jigsaw puzzle that said 5-7 years, she was so proud to get it done in 2 weeks.

      When asked of her choice for speaker of the house she said Bose.

      She says she supports veterans because they help pets.

      She wore a sleeveless shirt at a meeting to support her right to bare arms.

      She wanted a trade embargo on Romania because of tainted romaine lettuce.

      She wanted to know how much tuition is at the Electoral College.

      When asked if she knew the Capital of Texas she said “T”.

      She thought Manual Labor was a Mexican.

      When asked her opinion on Roe V. Wade she said whatever it takes for Latinos to cross the Rio Grande if they don’t know how to swim.

      She went into a nyc hat store and asked to try on a Kentucky Derby.

      She says she supports socialism because she’s a social person.”

      Almost makes one want to move to Rhodesia.

  9. “I will again express my confusion on why there is such a thrill to these kills for trophy hunters.”
    To alleviate your confusion and like any good social scientist, I suggest you go on one of these hunts before you criticize it. Try a deer, turkey, duck or , if truly adventurous, a bear hunt. Water fowl are the best, IMO, and there’s plenty around DC. Heck, I bet Tucker Carlson would take you.

    You don’t have to pull the trigger but go into the field, make your breakfast of biscuits and country ham in the blind, enjoy the typically male bravado and camaraderie, and then understand the thrill of the hunt in communion with your comrades. All it will cost you is a little disposable income and a lost shirt tail when you (intentionally) miss the mark.

    1. “However, shooting a hippo with a high-powered rifle is about as challenging shooting cars in the airport parking lot. Yet, thrilled hunters are shown posing with the dead animals like they have achieved something truly grand in the killing giant herbivores.”
      BTW, Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa. They are responsible for more human fatalities there than any other large animal. I’d call getting the guts to take them on in their native environment “Challenging.” I never been gored by a parked car.

    2. Mespo, one can get that same sense of camaraderie just hiking through the woods with buddies. That way don’t have to shlep a shotgun around. You can even get baked before leaving the car.

    3. To alleviate your confusion and like any good social scientist, I suggest you go on one of these hunts before you criticize it.

      Mark, that won’t work; as a matter of fact it will only give the illusion his criticism is based on experience. I suspect his is not an experience problem but rather a worldview problem.

      This blog is replete with examples of worldview disagreements masked as misunderstandings. So every “misunderstanding” is argued with the assumption that if one were presented with solid evidence then the “misunderstanding” will go away. After 7 years on this blog it has become quite clear, all the debating techniques in the world will not change worldviews.

      Experience, as they say, is supposed to be the best teacher. But like our 18th century ancestors proved, experience has to be transformative. Their laundry-list of grievances weren’t simple misunderstandings. They were rooted in transgressions that transformed worldviews over generations. and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

      We’ll eventually get to the point where enough is enough. when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, I’m not certain it will be in my lifetime, or what effort it will take to make the change; regardless we are on the clock.

        1. Historically I’ve never seen a more game changing time since I’ve been alive. I’m trying really hard to reserve judgement of JT’s & Trump’s strategies & tactics.

          The harm to others by the invasions & other issues continues. …. another one told (White Collar) he’s laid off this week & told him to his face he was being replaced by an Offshore…. (Slave)

        2. Mark,
          This new information is not really new. If JT was truly interested in understanding he would have sought to gain the experience before opining. No, I believe he’s content in his worldview. He’s far more qualified to explain laws and culture that allow trophy hunting. In that area he has proven to be fair-minded and open to new information.

  10. Prof Turley, Turley, where are you? Are you ok?
    What? the have no news where you’re hiding at?

    1. 1st off I don’t support the needless slaughter of animals or even inserts. I do support proven game Management practices.

      A long running problem with African countries & countries everywhere is that the need cash for game management, roads, other public needs.

      A small company I’ve followed for some time, TRX, has put together what is hopefully a model to move small nations from a colonialist past to one in which those nations now will share in the profits from their citizens own public resources, Oli, gold, minerals, etc…

      If I remember correctly in TRX’s case the a nation of Tanzania receive a cur of 40% of the resource profits & the shareholders get a 60% cut.

      And yes Tanzania has a lot of wild life to manage.

      But, why is P Turley ignoring the fact that last Friday the Senate Intel Committee, Rs/Ds, both said their investigation after 2 yrs said No Russian Collusion.

      Further, Mueller & Co., Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, DOJ/FBI leaders, Obama/Hillary, etc., etc…. where all part of a Treasonous Coup against the People’s Govt!!!!

      In these such type events P Turley I couldn’t more strongly suggest you dont…. snarl, snarl, snarl..

      anyway, I hope everyone gets the point.

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