Trophy hunting cheetahs in Namibia. Yes it is legal.
8.16.2011 - EDIT : I've put out some emails and calls to friends & colleagues who have visited and / or lived in Namibia and I'm learning that, despite obvious emotional reactions to this issue, there are many levels & sides to consider. In short, I am listening and will do my best to communicate what I learn to all of you.
As I research where to visit in Namibia, I came across some websites that are for hunters. When most people think of safari now, their mind defaults to photography, but the hunting safaris still exist. Some on open land, some on game farms.
Sadly, cheetahs, while requiring a special permit, can be shot and killed for sport in Namibia.
Only click this link if you have a strong stomach:
What is confusing to me, as someone outside the culture admittedly, is that organizations such as Cheetah Conservation Fund, Africat & N/a’an ku sê promote conservation which is a boon to Namibian tourism. Therefore, why keep this blight on the books, and can international pressure bring an end to trophy hunting?
To make it more complicated (my brain is spinning here):
Cheetah is available to hunt in Namibia with a 150 animal 2010 CITES quota but the US Fish & Wildlife Service does not permit import of cheetah trophies from Namibia.
Canada, South America, Mexico as well as most countries in Europe, such as Spain, France and Russia will permit the importation of a Cheetah trophy.
I'm assuming most hunters who travel to Namibia are from the countries mentioned above. If we can raise awareness on an international level, perhaps these policies can be changed. Examples set by foundations such as WildAid who target the Chinese market where demand for endangered species products is high is one to follow. If we target the countries where the hunters live and want their prized carcasses displayed, then we might make a difference.
Just a thought....