Target: Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
Goal: Close down hunting ranches that are driving Zimbabwe’s animals to extinction.
A tourist can kill animals on a Zimbabwe ranch as long as he has a lot of money and the desire to display them as prized possessions in the living room. Animals hunted have little chance of escaping, since they are unfairly trapped in fenced-in areas.
Over 1.3 square kilometers of land is designated for hunting ranches in Zimbabwe, and the impact ranch hunting has on wiping out various animal species is alarming. Often times the animals hunted are the ones usually considered to be the most beautiful. Therefore, these particular species are in great jeopardy of becoming extinct. In addition, these species are also adversely affected since many hunters breed two different species of animals with the intention of creating a new animal hunters will want to capture. When this happens the natural habitat of these areas is destroyed, since regular animal species now have to compete with hybrids. Furthermore, fenced- in areas on ranches block migration routes that other animals need to travel in order to survive seasonal changes.
Although hunting on ranches can be banned by government officials if hunting practices prove to be unsustainable, people are hardly ever punished for illegal hunting practices. Hunting is also not closely regulated by government officials and is instead a task that is entrusted to ranchers. In fact, hunters who pay higher amounts of money are often times given licenses to hunt more animals on a particular ranch than the law allows, making it more likely that several animal population species will eventually disappear.
Sign this petition and demand that these destructive hunting ranches be shut down immediately. We owe it to these majestic creatures to keep them safe, and we owe it to future generations to preserve and protect wildlife habitats.
Dear President Mugabe,
Since hunting tourism is legal in Zimbabwe, anyone can hunt animals on designated hunting ranches and take them home as trophies. Because animals are unable to escape fenced-in areas, the circumstances in which they are caught are extremely inhumane.
Although it is argued that hunting ranches are an important part of the country’s economic stability, several species will likely die off due to faulty hunting practices. For example, the animals considered by many to be the best looking are the most popular animals to hunt. These particular animals also die off because they compete for resources with hybrids bred by ranchers. Just as alarming, when areas are fenced off important migration routes of animals are blocked.
Furthermore, since hunting regulations are entrusted to ranch owners and money made depends on the number of animals hunted, it cannot be assumed that any animal population is safe from extinction. In relation, since resources that help determine accurate numbers of animal populations are limited, knowing how quickly various species will die off cannot be determined. If several species of animals become extinct then Zimbabwe’s economy will likely be negatively affected, as many tourists will no longer have a reason to visit. For all of these reasons I urge you to stand behind this issue and to demand hunting ranches in Zimbabwe be outlawed immediately. If Zimbabwe is going to continue to thrive, a more sustainable way of producing income needs to be found and quickly implemented.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Evans via Flickr