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OPINION: Botswana’s Hunting Ban Deserves Better from the New York Times

By Maraya Cornell

A recent article in the New York Times casts Botswana’s hunting ban, enacted just under two years ago, as the disastrous move of a nation acting under the spell of Western animal rights activism.

The author, Norimitsu Onishi, who is the paper’s bureau chief for southern Africa, blames the ban for swelling the number of dangerous animals that terrorize villagers in Sankuyo, where his story is set. And he claims that Sankuyo’s land is “peripheral,” too remote for photo tourism to make up for the income the village lost when trophy hunting ceased.

Both of these conclusions are dubious at best.

Hunting Lions for Fun

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and filmmaker Dereck Joubert, a world-renowned expert on lions and the African wilderness, shoots down the myths trophy hunters use to justify killing big cats. He reveals the devastating impact on African economies, employment, and ecology that hunting inflicts at the cost of the much greater wealth that may be generated from ecotourism, and he calls for support of the petition of the U.S. Government to list the lion as an Endangered Species, which would make it illegal to import lions and their parts (such as trophies) into the U.S.