I'm sure many in the Juneau community share Sherrie Jans' views regarding the ethics of leopard hunting printed in Tuesday's Juneau Empire. She is quite correct that Bill Adair and I put ourselves in harm's way. What she fails to realize is the simple economics of wildlife preservation in Africa.
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When leopards have no value to the landowners, the landowners do not tolerate the loss of livestock to these predators. They have poisoned leopards indiscriminately, killing females, cubs and young males, completely wasting the animals and their valuable meat.
Photographic safaris simply do not generate the kind of income to landowners to make preservation of the species economically viable, and in areas where professional hunting has been completely eliminated, such as Kenya, wildlife populations have been decimated.
The area we hunted was protected by a professional game scout, who was paid by the landowner and provided housing by the landowner on a full-time basis to control poaching in a vast area of Africa. One hundred percent of the leopard's meat was eagerly received by the tenant farmers, as is all professionally taken game in Africa.
"Green safaris" simply cannot generate this type of economic protection for wildlife populations in Africa.
Finally, if Sherrie Jans and others want to boycott someone, boycott me and the meat section at your local grocery store, and not the poor guy who got shot.
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