Earlier today, I discussed the controversy surrounding Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech leader who hunts big game in Africa and posts the pictures to Facebook.
In the caption of a picture of her with an African leopard, Kendall described the hunt as a “fair chase”. I feel the need to disambiguate that term.
Let me present the San people of the Kalahari desert in Africa. This traditional hunter-gatherer society inhabits the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. San men go on marathons across the desert to track down the Kudu antelope which provide key protein for their families:
The San people lived as hunter-gatherers for countless generations until government modernization programs, lasting from the 1950s until the 1990s, mandated that many of the San switch to farming.
They are one of our fourteen surviving “ancestral population clusters” from which all modern humans today descend from. Studies of the San have provided a wealth of information in the fields of anthropology and genetics.
So let’s be clear: hunting with high-powered rifles and motorized vehicles is as far from a “fair chase” as it gets.
Don’t forget to voice your opinion by answering the poll questions at the end!
Kendall Jones is a 19-year-old from Cleburne, Texas, a small town about 45 minutes southwest of Dallas. When she was nine, she started following her father on his big game hunts in Africa.
Kendall quickly took a liking to the hunts, and at the age of 13, she shot her first animal: a White Rhino. From her Facebook:
“Although I had many other opportunities to shoot animals I wanted to save it for the Big 5, so the first animal I ever shot was a White Rhino with a .416 Remington!!”
The Big 5 Kendall mentions refers to the five African animals coveted most by hunters: the rhino, the elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the lion.
Since then, she has checked off the other four, as you can see in the pictures below.
Kendall’s “About” section on her Facebook page says that she’s, “looking to host a tv show in January 2015” about her hunting adventures through Africa.
Ironically, she has gained the public spotlight because of a recent online petition that has asked Facebook to, “Remove the page of Kendall Jones that promotes animal cruelty!” The petition, posted just over a week ago, has already garnered over 45,000 signatures (its goal is 50,000).
Another petition, posted to the website change.org a few days later, calls her out for using her hunting to expand her social media influence and adavance her entertainment career and asks that she be banned from hunting in Africa completely. It has nearly 3,500 signatures.
In her defense, Kendall argues that her hunting is about conservation. She writes,
“Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these… Funds from a hunt like this goes partially to the government for permits but also to the farm owner as an incentive to keep and raise lions on their property.”
So while many may find what she’s doing distasteful, it’s actually not illegal. Big game hunters pay the government’s of African countries for special permits which allow them to hunt the animals.
These permits are often auctioned off, with a large portion of the proceeds supposedly going to help wildlife conservation efforts in the region. I say “supposedly” because anyone who knows Africa knows that a lotof money never gets where it’s supposed to go.
One of the biggest problems with illegal poaching is that many wildlife agents, customs officials, and government leaders are already being paid-off by wealthy and powerful mafia-style poaching rings, so it would be extremely surprising if this corruption doesn’t also exist in the extremely lucrative permit auctions.
Personally, I think killing any animal (especially one as rare and majestic as the great beasts of Africa) so you can pose with it for social media attention is a pretty selfish thing to do. Sure, certain populations (like feral hogs in Texas, for example) do a lot of damage to the environment and ought to be controlled.
And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people wanting to document their kills for themselves, but parading the dead bodies of some of our most threatened species doesn’t send a message of conservation and protection, in my opinion.
However, as I said earlier, it’s perfectly legal. And I’m not sure whether people being offended by the pictures is a good enough reason to remove them from Facebook (which is full of offensive content), let alone ban her from Africa.
Let me know what you think by answering the three poll questions below.
You may have never heard of stoats before. These cute little creatures are closely related to ferrets, which are becoming an increasingly popular house pet these days.
But don’t let their innocent appearance fool you- stoats are ferocious hunters. And when their speed and agility isn’t enough, they have a strange but fascinating secret weapon: hypnotism.
Check out a stoat using this amazing ability to snare a rabbit in the video below:
Stoats are very hardy creatures, and are able to live in all kinds of environments from the Siberian Arctic, to the mountains of Japan to the Great Plains of the United States. They can be found in Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand.
A large portion of a stoat’s development centers around play fighting, which builds up their strength and stamina and hones their agility. These fine-tuned skills allow them to take down some surprisingly challenging prey.
The video below shows some of this play fighting, and also shows a stoat taking down a rabbit 10 times its size, using the hunting skills it perfected as an adolescent.
A permit to hunt an endangered African “Black Rhino” was sold for $350,000 at a closed-door auction in Dallas Saturday (1/11/14). Currently an estimated 4,000 Black Rhinos remain in the wild, down from as many as 70,000 in the 1960s. The permit is for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia where nearly 1,800 of the remaining Black Rhinos are located, according to the Dallas Safari Club.
Officials from the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have said that while culling can be appropriate in abundant animal populations, all black rhinos should be protected, given their endangered status.” -Fox News
Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event Saturday night, confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. He declined to name the buyer.
The Dallas Safari Club, describing themselves as an “organization of hunters, conservationists, and wildlife enthusiasts” had come under heavy criticism for sponsoring the auction, despite their insistence that the auction’s proceeds would go toward conservation efforts.
The Safari Club’s executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.
But despite the stated “cause” the auction still received disapproval from tons of critics, including many wildlife and animal rights groups. It has even gotten so bad that the FBI earlier this week said it was investigating death threats against members of the club.
As far as the legality of the permit sale, it is obviously legal technically or the auction wouldn’t have taken place or would have been shut down. But what do you guys think? Should it be legal if the proceeds go to the conservation of the animal (despite how ironic that may sound)? Or should it be illegal to hunt an endangered species no matter what?
This is an amazing theory by researches, stating that the Fox has nearly a 75% success rate when facing North. It is no doubt that animals contain amazing skills that humans do not possess, but maybe some we do? Maybe we just don’t realize we do, or maybe not? If a canine can tune into the magnetic field of our planet, maybe most animals (including humans) can.
Dolphins are widely considered to be some of the smartest and most social animals in the world; their hunting tactics certainly support this. Dolphins hunt in groups and employ two basic tactics to catch their prey.
The first is utilized in the open ocean. The dolphins will herd a school of fish by swimming around them and bombarding them with sonar waves (high frequency sound-waves that the dolphins also use for echolocation), slowly driving them upwards until they are corralled between the dolphins and the surface. Once the school of fish has been tightly packed, the dolphins will take turns shooting through the school of fish, while the rest of the pod keep the fish tightly packed. Here’s video of it (with some cool seabirds getting in on the feast):
When the dolphins are close to shore they employ a similar strategy, this time using the beach to help corral the fish. But the fish, being much smaller, can swim in much shallower waters than the dolphins can, so the dolphins have learned to hydroplane to catch their meal. More video: