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Monday, August 17, 2015

Giraffes are dangerous ..... Canned Hunting - how gruesome is sport ?

The giraffe (Giraffacamelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Their primary food source is acacia leaves, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. Giraffes are preyed on by lions; their calves are also targeted by leopards, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs ~and ……another predator, the man [rather the woman !]   - is killing of animals, a sport, especially when people aided with all modern gadgets kill in cold blood !!!

In the film ‘Kalakalappu’, comedian Santhanam will show a portrait of a man attacking a cheetah with sickle. Hero Vimal would remark having seen it elsewhere… Santhanam retorts saying that it was his grandfather attacking the tiger – the photo which they later gave to matchbox manufacturer….. toVimal’s remark that it does not sound believable – Santhanam would say that his grandfather told him that food would be provided only if he believes and would ask Vimal whether he would like to dine !!!  Wimco Limited is a reputed manufacturer and exporter of Cardboard matches, you would know them better by this single product ‘Cheetah fight matchboxes’…..

The woman who posted images of herself with a giraffe she killed has defended her actions – and called the animals “dangerous”.Sabrina Corgatelli first came under fire from animal rights activists after she posted images of herself online posed with giraffe carcasses and other dead animals during a guided hunt in South Africa.  Later, Corgatelli, an accountant at Idaho State University, has defended her actions, telling NBC’s Today show that she respected the animals despite hunting them.

Away from the melee, there is more bad into hunting, when you read that it not exactly the animals in wild – but ‘canned hunting’ more like breeding and developing broiler chickens, only to kill and eat !!! – reports state that ‘Canned hunting' attracts 1,000 tourists a year to South Africa's reserves, where lions become 'farmyard chickens'.  In what appears like selecting from a menu, prospective hunters receive a 'catalogue' to choose the exact animal they want to kill, priced from £3,500 to £31,000.  Whilst Animal rights activists decry calling it 'unceremonious slaughter',  canned hunting bosses say it boosts lion numbers.

Millions around the world reacted with shock when it was revealed an American hunter paying tens of thousands of dollars had killed Zimbabwe's most famous lion, Cecil.While the way Cecil was lured out of Hwange National Park to be killed was truly horrendous, it does not reveal the darkest side to Africa's hunting industry. There is more sinister and dastardly - canned - or 'captive' - hunting in neighbouring South Africa, where lions have been reduced to little more than 'farmyard chickens', bred in their hundreds on private reserves before being released just so that high-paying tourists can hunt them down using guns - or bows for the ultimate 'trophy' kill.Shockingly, an undercover investigation for a new film into the trade reveals that safari companies will even send out prospective hunters a catalogue so they can choose the exact animal they want to kill - ranging in price from $5,400 (£3,500) to $48,000 (£31,000), depending on size and condition.

They are adorably cute, with grubby brown fur so soft it seems to slip through one’s fingers like flour.  These nine-week-old cubs are not playthings – they are born to kill, lion,  a wild animal.  Sadly, they are not wild, kept  in a small pen behind the Lion's Den, a pub on a ranch in desolate countryside 75 miles south of Johannesburg. Tourists stop to pet them but most visitors do not venture over the hill, where the ranch has pens holding nearly 50 juvenile and fully-grown lions, and two tigers.

Moreson ranch is one of more than 160 such farms legally breeding big cats inSouth Africa. There are now more lions held in captivity (upwards of 5,000) in the country than live wild (about 2,000). Animal activists say that breeders remove the cubs from their mother so that the lioness will quickly become fertile again, as they squeeze as many cubs from their adults as possible – five litters every two years. While the owners of this ranch insist they do not hunt and kill their lions, animal welfare groups say most breeders sell their stock to be shot dead by wealthy trophy-hunters from Europe and North America, or for traditional medicine in Asia. The easy slaughter of animals in fenced areas is called "canned hunting", perhaps because it's rather like shooting fish in a barrel. A fully-grown, captive-bred lion is taken from its pen to an enclosed area where it wanders listlessly for some hours before being shot dead by a man with a shotgun, hand-gun or even a crossbow, standing safely on the back of a truck.  As the hunter pays dollars, it is  all completely legal !!!

A normal shy individual might pay some dollars for a feel, cuddle,  touch, hug, standing near, and a photo for posterity and for upload in social media, the harsh rich ones select, pay and kill the defenceless animal with arrow or guns with all tech-support.   South Africa has a strong hunting tradition but few people express much enthusiasm for its debased canned form. It is still legal to bring a lion carcass back to Britain (or anywhere in Europe or North America) as a trophy, and much of the demand comes from overseas. Trophy-hunters are attracted by the guarantee of success, and the price: a wild lion shot on a safari in Tanzania may cost £50,000, compared with a £5,000 captive-bred specimen in South Africa. Five years ago, the South African government effectively banned canned hunting by requiring an animal to roam free for two years before it could be hunted, severely restricting breeders and hunters' profitability. But lion breeders challenged the policy in South Africa's courts and a high court judge eventually ruled that such restrictions were "not rational". The number of trophy hunted animals has since soared.

Breeders argue it is better that hunters shoot a captive-bred lion than further endanger the wild populations, but conservationists and animal welfare groups dispute this. Wild populations of lions have declined by 80% in 20 years, so the rise of lion farms and canned hunting has not protected wild lions. The lion farms' creation of a market for canned lion hunts puts a clear price-tag on the head of every wild lion,  according to an activist - they create a financial incentive for local people, who collude with poachers or turn a blind eye to illegal lion kills. Trophy-hunters who begin with a captive-bred lion may then graduate to the real, wild thing.

How pathetic it sounds ~an animal which should freely roam in the wild, is bred, lives shortly a life behind a fence, till they are taken out, shot by high paying tourist. It would be good to shoot the animals with the camera not with bullets or arrows.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Aug 2015.

Collated from The Guardian;; Dailymail; PETA;, National geographic and other sources

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