One of Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife reserves, the Bubye Valley Conservancy, recently announced that it was considering culling up to 200 lions as the cats have become increasingly overpopulated. The wildlife reserve said its current population of around 500 lions is unsustainable due to the dramatic decline in hunters, possibly caused by the controversy over Cecil, a lion killed near Hwange National Park last year.
Bubye officials say that without hunters to help manage the lion population, they are considering either hiring marksmen to shoot some of the animals, or capturing them and donating the cats to other reserves.
Bubye has historically held one of the largest lion populations in Zimbabwe.“I wish we could give about 200 of our lions away to ease the overpopulation,” Blondie Leathem, the conservancy’s general manager, told the National Post. “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.”
I did a quick search in Safari websites and if you are lucky enough to get a lion within two days, you will be shedding close to $25,000 for the hunt. We have 200 lions to be culled, so all you “Animal Lovers” have to gather is $8,000,000 to cover for the loss of income and I am not adding the meat that will not be given to the locals or the expenses in relocating the lions to a place where they don’t feel the need to attack cattle or humans and have enough food to sustain themselves.
Time to put up or shut up.