I was in the middle of a profile interview with wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert for a prominent South African magazine.
I was keen to keep the conversation light, but I also wanted to ask them one question on the touchy topic of hunting in Botswana. As many people know, the Botswana government banned hunting completely in 2013. Many people are wondering what will happen to the massive concessions of land that operated under hunting. Will they become desolate and ravaged by poachers? Or will they be transformed into successful photographic operations, free of the hunters that profited from the land before? (Also see: “The End of Safari Hunting in Botswana.”)
The Jouberts have lived and filmed in Botswana for over 25 years. They also operate a commercial safari company and run more than 43 conservation projects on the ground throughout Africa, so the couple are certainly in a good position to make a comment. It’s an emotional topic for some, so before presenting the question, I included a short “disclaimer” saying that they were most welcome to be brief with their thoughts. Nobody wanted to get into an emotional tirade here. (Also see: “Lion Hunt Photo Touches Off Heated Conservation Debate.”)
Dereck was blunt and candid straight off the bat.
“I don’t think this is a hot topic at all, and I’m more than happy to talk about it. In fact, it’s a cold topic because the hunters are moving out.”
Listen to what else they had to say: