About Time – Lift the Ban!

So the US Fish & Wildlife Service has lifted its ban on Zimbabwean elephant hunting trophies to the USA.

About time! It was never justified and it was imposed because the USF&WS (at that time under the Obama administration), was greatly under the influence of the American animal rights brigade. Indeed, Obama himself, is a Fellow Traveller and supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – whatever THAT acronym is supposed to mean).

The USF&WS claimed that they had imposed the ban because Zimbabwe was unable to guarantee the sustainability of its stated annual elephant hunting quota. That is a laugh.

Those figures were, in fact, FAR FAR too low. And the ban illustrated just how ignorant of the wildlife management facts pertaining in Zimbabwe, was the USF&WS at that time; or has been at any other time.

Like the major elephant populations throughout the whole of southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s elephant populations were then – and remain now – gigantically in excess of their habitats’ elephant carrying capacities; and they could easily have sustained a hunting quota that was ten times (and more) above the official number. And it is because of actions – like the ban on the importation of Zimbabwe’s elephant hunting trophies to America – that the rest of the world have given undeserved credibility to the animal rights’ propaganda proclamations that the elephant in Africa is “endangered” and that it is “facing extinction”; which are far from true!.

The facts of the matter are that Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park now has 40 times as many elephants as its elephant carrying capacity had been previously determined – when the habitats were healthy in 1960.

And the country’s Gonarezhou National Park is in much the same situation. Under our very noses these game reserves (and others in southern Africa) are being rapidly reduced to desert status with a constantly diminishing biological diversity.

Why? Because the rest of the world – in a very doctrinaire fashion – believes it has the right to interfere in Africa’s wildlife management affairs. The whole of the Western World (it seems) – like the good neo-colonialists that they all seem to be – believe that we Africans are too stupid to know what is best for our continent, our wildlife and our people.

The damage, therefore, extends beyond the obvious –

(1). because of the support that world leaders (like Obama) have given to animal rightist propaganda –

(2) because African governments have been too timid to contradict the American support for the animal rightists’ propaganda; and/or

(3) because the American delegation, at last year’s CITES meeting (at least), threatened several African governments with economic sanctions if they did not comply with “America’s wishes” (as per their “Pelly Amendment”) – a general state of affairs has persisted in Africa, for many years now, in which no elephant population management AT ALL has been employed in the national parks.

This has resulted (in southern Africa):

(1) in elephant populations repeatedly doubling their numbers every 10 years (or so);

(2) in elephant populations numbers grossly exceeding their habitats’ carrying capacities;

(3) in the fact that the vital habitats of our national parks are being utterly destroyed by too many elephants; and

(4) in the massive loss of our national parks’ biological diversities.

The American Trump administration has now reversed the USF&WS’s previously uncalled for, insupportable, unwise, and bullying demands on Zimbabwe’s wildlife management programme.

On behalf of the whole of Africa, therefore, I say: “Thank you President Trump.” Now the question remains: Will the rest of the First World follow America’s wise and rational decision – and leave Africa alone to work out its own wildlife management salvation? Unfortunately, I doubt it. There are “Big Brothers” everywhere, today, and they clearly believe that they know better that us Africans do – about what constitutes the “best practice” management of our own wild natural resources.

There is a storm brewing! And one of these days the bubble is going to burst!



It seems the animal rights organisations are still trying to bully the Trunp administration.

For Now, Trump to Keep Ban on Importing Elephant Trophies

Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 219 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.