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article imageLeopard hunt banned in South Africa

By Owen Weldon     Mar 13, 2016 in Environment
For the first time in decades, hunters will not be able to participate in the leopard hunt for the 2016 season due to South African's ban.
Hunters who have a lot of money will not target "Big 5" game animals in South Africa. The ban is temporary and it comes a year after Cecil the Lion was killed in Zimbabwe.
The leopard hunt ban will be reviewed at the end of this year, but until then, hunters will not be able to hunt for leopards.
However, the ban was due to science and not because of emotion. The South African National Biodiversity Institute recommended the ban because the numbers of leopards could not be firmly established.
John Donaldson, director of research at the institute, said this wasn't a permanent ban and there's just uncertainty about the numbers of leopards.
Guy Balme, of the environmental group Panthera, said leopards are mainly nocturnal and they are secretive. He added that leopards are solitary and range over vast areas.
Professional Hunters Association of South Africa's chief executive, Tharia Unwin, said PHASA was providing the South African government with leopard data from private lands.
South Africa has been hit by its worst drought on record, but Unwin said this was good news for leopard numbers because the predators tend to thrive when rains are poor.
Unwin said hunters pay up to $20,000 to shoot a leopard, and various members of PHASA have been refunded. Most of the hunters who are come to South Africa to hunt for such game are American.
More about South Africa, leopard hunt, Hunt, Leopards
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