Leopards in the Firing Line – Elephants Wait for Judgement
It makes me sick. The thought that someone could find pleasure in taking the life of a magnificent leopard for fun. Stick the head on the wall, put the skin on the floor.
It was expected that the two leopard hunting proposals (one from Uganda and one from Mozambique) would be high on the CITES priority list – and they were.
But despite clear lack of scientific evidence (in the case of Uganda the most relevant population estimate is 20 years old!) both proposals were adopted by consensus allowing Mozambique to double its leopard trophy hunting quota from 60 to 120 animals a year and permitting Uganda to open up trophy hunting of leopards with a total of 28 animals.
I’ve been to many parts of Africa over the last 40 years and I’ve seen a wild leopard just 3 times. It was an awe-inspiring experience that I felt so privileged to witness. How impoverished is the human mind that can contemplate snuffing out that wild life.
Meanwhile, no news on elephants… except that discussion may now be deferred until the start of week two.
Finally our lunchtime presentation by Professor Sam Wasser on DNA research into tracing illegal ivory was attended by over 100 people including some of the big names in elephant conservation, including Dr Iain Douglas Hamilton and Dr Esmond Bradley Martin. The possibility that we can now trace the origin of illegal ivory shipments right back to the near exact location from where they came will fit yet another piece into the illegal ivory trade jigsaw. It was awesome and described by I.D.H. as ‘a breakthrough’. Praise indeed!