In a new approach to funding ‘lion conservation,’ we had the launch (3 January 2016) of a raffle for an 18 day lion hunt. The raffle was launched (and then cancelled) by the Bubye Valley Conservancy (B.V.C.), Zimbabwe in conjunction with Martin Nel Safaris. The result of the raffle was to be announced at Safari Club International’s (SCI’s) Las Vagas, “Ultimate Hunters’ Market” conference, February 2016.
The raffle hoped to raise some $150,000 USD with the sale of 100 tickets to hunters, or indeed non-hunters, with the latter having the option of a “photographic safari” and the promise the lion victim will be collared and form part of WildCRU’s on-going lion research, as was Cecil (may he RIP)) – WildCRU had no knowledge of this “fund raising initiative.” Basically, there was a lion with a gun pointing at it and this ‘novel’ approach pitched the hunter’s perceived intent to kill that lion directly against the chance for someone to save the lion in question. Which sounds a lot like some twisted form of blackmail doesn’t it? But this is happening every day, with hunting quotas hanging over lions’ heads.
Besides the moral argument, that raffling a lion’s life/death might be repugnant to a majority, this ‘inclusive’ approach to raising funds to ‘conserve’ hunted lions (not sanctuary protected lions) is something new. Of course, the lion in question will no doubt be hunted anyway at some point, regardless of the cancelled raffle, that’s the purpose of B.V.C.
So, with the many variables impacting on the future survival of Panthera leo (the African lion, or lion), what is the current status and future?
From a pragmatic point of view, a rapid evolution (‘Disruptive Innovation’) to a better way is perhaps better that striving for a potentially unachievable revolution?
or Download PDF – How Can ‘We’ Save the African Lion, Panthera Leo?