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Elephant hunting: it can aid preservation

In response to our interview with author Alex Shoumatoff on the new rise in the illegal trade of elephant ivory in Kenya, we heard this from Ms. Willi of Saanich Peninsula, B.C.

Elephant hunting, in the few countries that allow it, is strictly controlled and regulated.    Foreign hunters pay huge fees to buy licenses and tags, the  hunt employs many local people, and the meat is not wasted- - - the bonanza goes to feed protein-starved villagers.  It is even canned and distributed in stores.

What people in the West don`t understand is that licensed hunting puts a commercial value on the hunted animal which benefits the local communities, and so gives incentive for locals to protect rather than poach them.    The huge fees paid also make it possible to employ game wardens in these othewise poor countries.
The greatest threat to elephants is not from legal hunting but from continuing encroachment upon habitat by humans.   As a result, elephants are confined to ever-smaller reserves, and within these small areas they over-populate and cause extensive destruction of trees.   Elephants are second only to humans in their ability to quickly destroy trees.

In addition, elephants will on occasion raid villager`s crops and even kill farmers who try to chase them away.
Where elephant hunting is allowed, it is these "rogue" elephants who are selected and targeted.     
I was very disappointed to hear that CBC radio took the easy way out and blamed hunters for the problem.   You even aired an unfortunately macho and disagreeable hunter to make your point that hunters are "evil sadists".     Do you know that elephant poaching is worst in Kenya by a fair margin- - - Kenya, which banned  legal hunting back in the 1970s?
 I used to hate trophy hunters myself, until I grew up and actually learned something about trophy hunting.  It seems to me that by and large the CBC has become very vegan and urban.   Please educate yourselves........PETA and the HSUS are not  valid authorities when it comes to hunting (or anything else, for that matter, except propaganda).  And as for the "evil sadists", I won`t even try to explain to you city people why we hunt, except to say that the thrill is in the hunt, not the kill, and that it is in our DNA., in our bones.  We have been hunting for two million years.  Unless you have experienced it, you cannot imagine what it is like.  (Sorry, your favourite television is no substitute, nor is a stupid computer game.)
                 The other reason why I hunt is because.......I like to eat.

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