The fact that hunting is conservation made big news this week, this time in Botswana and the United Kingdom as the country’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the British throne, has recognized the conservation case for hunting elephants. The two met privately last week during an international conference on the illegal trafficking of wildlife, where the duke spoke of his concern that elephants and rhinos could be extinct by the time his children were in their 20s.
In an interview with The Times, Masisi explained, “We do not want to come across as loving to kill animals. We are loving to protect our people. We are loving our property.” Emphasizing his point, he added, “We are just being rational in the same way any Brit would if you had 100,000 elephants marauding over the UK. If you want to test it out we can give you only 500. I bet you'd be screaming.”
“Legal, regulated, community-based hunting in Africa funds counter-poaching efforts, provides much-needed protein for local families and helps patrol areas outside of game parks that would otherwise be open for poachers to run rampant,” explained Rhoad, in acknowledging the tremendous impact of hunters and hunting. “It's great to see the Duke of Cambridge acknowledge this and hopefully it will lead to the legalization of regulated hunting in Botswana.”
Maybe with high-profile people such as the Duke of Cambridge now joining in to promote hunting as a conservation solution both here and abroad, the collective hunting community can make real headway in making sure wildlife thrives into the future. As for Africa, this level of support could not come at a better time as anti-hunting, animal rights extremists continue to dismiss hunting’s crucial role in wildlife conservation and ignore the ability of Africans to manage their own wildlife.