‘Suppose you’re a subsistence farmer and you’ve got $200 of crops which have to last you the whole year. Well that elephant can destroy them in one night. So that elephant has really no value to you, except as poached ivory — which will get you imprisoned for nine years, if you’re not shot on the spot — or as meat. Unless, of course, a professional game hunter comes along and tells you that that elephant is worth $10,000 to your community. Then suddenly you’ve got a reason not to kill it.’
This is an excerpt from an article about something that's being called the 'Cecil Effect,' a trend away from hunting as a result from the outcry of negative public opinion, which can sometimes have harmful side effects (see below). As conservationists we must be realistic and take into consideration that someone else's definition of 'worth' may be very different than our own and in many cases with wildlife a species may have more 'worth' as a huntable commodity than as a natural being. Our responsibility as a conservationist is to best educate, inform and provide resources to make manageable decisions which includes looking at all sides of the story. It is virtually impossible to make everyone happy but what is best for those living in the situation (both human and non-human) is what needs to be done, not appeasing those who are offended on the other side other world.
The Harmful Side Effects
With some people still in an outrage about Cecil and US regulations with the new ruling still a little ambiguous it is unlikely that there will be an increase in hunts any time soon and a culling may inevitable. The Bubye Valley Conservancy is looking into options for relocation but finding suitable habitat where they will not end up in human conflict, or in wildlife areas where they will not have competition with existing prides, and finding adequate funding to move them can prove difficult.