‘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.’
The Harmful Side Effects
This 'Cecil Effect' is being said to have lead to the possible culling of over 200 lions in Zimbabwe, particularly in the Bubye Valley Conservancy. They're saying a combination of the US economy and people canceling hunts in fear of being ridiculed has resulted in an overpopulated and unsustainable lion population which is starting to bring down the populations of other animals around them.
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.
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