HOEDSPRUIT: Local lion hunt – the real story

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A recent media article titled ‘Outrage after Kruger lion baited and shot by trophy hunter in neighbouring reserve’ went viral via social media over the last few days. The article is with regards to a lion hunt that took place recently on Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, just outside of Hoedspruit.

The article makes accusations such as: “the hunted lion may have been the leader of the Western Pride named Skye, beloved of many tourists.”

Read: Lion mauling case in Hoedspruit takes a turn

To further sensationalise, the article reads, “It is probable the lion was lured out of Kruger Park with bait provided by an elephant and buffalo hunt, which took place beforehand.”

In response, Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR) management has released a statement to the media.

One part of the statement reads, “Before a hunting permit is issued, a rigorous process of assessment and adjudication takes place. Animals are counted, studies are compiled, experts are consulted, reserve management practices are scrutinised and assessed, needs are considered whether appropriate, and only thereafter, will the authorities consider issuing a permit to hunt.”

Let’s just say, it is very easy to sit behind a computer screen and ignorantly believe the information in front of you.

The management of private game reserves is complex, detailed and relies on data and figures compiled by ecologists and decisions made by a board of conservation-minded individuals.

The sound management of any reserve will, inevitably, draw upon controversial management techniques such as hunting, culling and relocation.

Read the full story in this week’s Hoedspruit Herald.

  AUTHOR
Beth Coetzee
Journalist

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