(NaturalNews) Over a month has passed since Minnesota-based trophy hunter Melissa Bachman went to South Africa to hunt wildlife in that country, but the controversy over her "accomplishments" rages on. The images she posted, smiling broadly while squatting beside a dead male lion, sparked a call for a global ban on trophy hunting and petitions to ban her from ever returning to South African shores.
That wealthy tourists come to the African continent from Europe, North America and elsewhere in droves for the express purpose of trophy hunting is not a new phenomenon. Thousands of dollars are spent by these hunters for the opportunity of bagging one of the "Big Five": lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffalo and leopards. The bigger the elephant tusks, the bigger the lion's mane, the broader the buffalo's horns, the more is paid. A large, black-maned adult lion, or a rare white lion, for example, can fetch more than $30,000.Canned Lion Hunts in South Africa
Because the numbers of lions in the wild are dwindling at such an alarming rate (an estimated 75% decrease in population in two decades), game farms in South Africa have sprouted to meet the demand of trophy hunters determined to carry home a lion skin no matter what. This is a legal practice in South Africa, and it generates a huge income for game farm owners, many of whom view the process as nothing more than a lucrative business. Virtually none of the money generated goes towards conservation, despite shameless promotion to the contrary.
Lions are bred and kept in captivity, and tourists are encouraged to visit and pet them when they are young cubs (more income). When the lions are in their prime, a hunt is arranged in a confined area. The unsuspecting lion is released and can then be easily shot and killed, in some cases from a vehicle. Photographs are taken and trophies prepared for the voyage home.Melissa Bachman - Why the controversy?
Since trophy hunting
is widely practiced in Africa, why is there such criticism over Melissa Bachman's actions? Ms. Bachman hosts a TV series called Winchester Deadly Passion
, which documents her hunting exploits using rifles or bows and arrows.
After completing her canned lion hunt in South Africa
, she drew attention to herself by boasting about her kills on Twitter
. On November 1, she wrote: "An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion... what a hunt!" The words were accompanied by a photograph of a beaming Bachman posing next to the dead animal. Her apparent joy in killing the defenseless lion sparked outrage
in South Africa and all over the world. She has a Facebook
page and personal website where her gallery features many images of her trophies, some of which include stags, alligators and bears.
Around 500,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for her to be banned from South Africa. Petitions have been started in order to end trophy hunting in Africa and elsewhere.Sources for this article include:http://www.mirror.co.ukhttp://www.wildlifeextra.comhttp://www.theguardian.comhttp://www.sbs.com.auhttp://www.facebook.comAbout the author:
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about living as natural a life as possible and reducing damage to the environment wherever possible. She spends a lot of time researching and writing about alternate medicines and healthy, green living, and manages to find the time to home-school her two daughters.