Target: South African President Jacob Zuma
Goal: Protect endangered big African game from legal hunting
Endangered big game in South Africa is not only threatened by poachers, it is also threatened by legal hunters. This reality has dawned on the people of social media through the pictures and stories of one 19-year-old woman, who seemingly hunts African big game for the bragging rights, though claims her kills are about sustainability. Some animals she has targeted are considered a stable species, but many others are categorized as at risk or endangered and should therefore be left alone. Hunting endangered species for sport should not be allowed in South Africa; the act is too risky, the species’ population suffers from the kill and it sets a bad example for sustainability.
At-risk animals that Jones has killed or maimed include the African leopard, elephant and white rhinoceros. Poaching has a negative effect on these species, though because poachers do not pay the South African government for the right to kill the country’s wildlife, their kills are illegal. Jones insists that all hunters who abide by rules and regulations in order to hunt are passionate about sustainability, as well as have the best interest of the animal and species at heart. However, Jones has mentioned that she hopes to turn her passion into a reality television show.
Jones does not value the lives of these animals; if she did, social media would likely know nothing about her. Jones’ inconsiderate intentions shed light on the motives of other big African game hunters, one that, if ignored, could lead to worse species decline and unhealthy ecosystems. South Africa’s wildlife is too precious, too scarce to allow for people to kill wildlife, whether they are paying the government to do so or not. Urge the South African government to stop allowing anyone to kill endangered wildlife of the area, even hunters who have paid to do so.
Dear President Zuma,
I am very concerned about the endangered wildlife of South Africa. Recently, a young woman has gained popularity through social media by killing big African game and publicly sharing her photos of her kills. Some of her victims include an African leopard and more than one elephant. As you know, these species are considered at risk of extinction. I understand that this young woman, as well as all of the other legal hunters in your country, pays to kill big African game. I do not see how allowing legal kills of endangered animals is conscious or sustainable.
Poaching within South Africa is a serious issue. Allowing others to hunt wildlife under your watch does not help relieve poaching issues by claiming sustainability; it instead puts unnecessary stress on endangered species and the ecosystems that rely on them. Killing an elephant to feed people is not conservation, nor does it allow the African people to prosper from sustainability. Instead, utilizing farming and promoting community involvement foster sustainability.
President Zuma, I urge you to consider a ban on killing endangered species in South Africa, whether the killer pays you or not. The wildlife and people of your country are counting on you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paola Frogheri via Fotopedia