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Newsletter 111
26/03/15

Don't Shoot The Messenger

Hello Friends 

As predicted, my last newsletter drew attention from a wide variety of people. Some people hate the idea, some think it’s a good idea, others don’t know. Some want to crucify me. There is no shortage of passion in this emotive issue.

For me it is fascinating to see how the scientist, the artist, the businessman, the hunter, the mother and the conservationists tackle the same problem. 

Let me say from the outset that my grandfather and my father were both hunters. I grew up in a hunting environment (it is well documented in my book "Nine Lives"). 

I understand only too well the ego, the adrenalin rush, the thrill of the chase, the money that goes with hunting. I also understand the futility of killing a magnificent creature like a tiger. I personally rejected hunting a long time ago. 

In my newsletter "Ambassador Cats", I describe how I fell in love with a cat in 1979, the Mother Leopard. Since this time I have been in love with a string of lions, leopard, tigers and cheetahs. Mother Leopard, Manana, Shingalana, Lioness Savannah, Tigress Julie, Shine a Light, Tibo, Ussuri, Zaria, Cheetah mother Shashe… the list goes on and on. 

I could no more hunt these cats than fly to Mars and back.

However in this emotional roller coaster that I have embarked on are flaws. In 2 000, I wrote a mission statement: 

"To assemble 100 000 hectares of land where a free ranging wild population of tigers can be created outside the Asian continent.” 

The emotional journey I have traveled, may not have equipped me to achieve this objective, in fact it may be my Achilles Heel.

Consider the words of Professor Willem van Riet: "Emotions can take you to a point but no further. Without value, in the end you will lose". 

In the words of an anonymous businessman "Varty’s an idiot, he has 4 non-productive males over 10 years old. Why doesn’t he hunt them at $150 000 each and buy the farm next door for more tigers". 

The majority of anti hunters are concerned that 75 male tigers will die over a period of 15 years (This is assuming that I can get a permit to hunt them, which I wont). 

As the scientists point out, if I am hunting 5 male tigers a year, then I should have a population of 50 male tigers. 

If my ratio male:female is 1:2, then I have 50 males and 100 females. 

If I have 100 females each producing an average of 2 cubs every 2 years. Then 100 extra cubs are being born each year.

If the present population of wild tigers is 1 500, then with a population of 150 tigers, Tiger Canyons would have 10% of the worlds wild population. 

If the wild tiger is declining at 1 per day, then in 15 years Tiger Canyons may have 40 or 50 or 60% of the worlds wild tiger population! 

Against these numbers the sacrifice of 15 males does not look so bad.

But it's not an all or nothing scenario. If you have a park of 100 000 hectares you can say no hunting 50 000 hectares and hunting in the other 50 000 hectares.

You could say only males of over 10 years old can be hunted. Fifty percent of the hunts could be green (a green hunt is one where the tiger is darted but not killed). 

However there is more than tigers at stake. 

On 100 000 hectares, 2 000 jobs can be created in the area of Philippolis (Philippolis is the 4th poorest town in South Africa. The infrastructure of Philippolis is rapidly declining). 200 White rhino and 50 black rhino can be warehoused for the National Parks Board (warehousing is where the rhino are owned by the National Parks Board but the private sector protect them. The province of the Free State has lost 2 rhino to poaching in the last 4 years).  

The land-use system changes from destructive sheep to indigenous wildlife: 200 000 springbuck, 50 000 blesbuck, 25 000 blue wildebeest graze amongst buffalo, giraffe, rhino etc.

Lion, leopard, cheetah, tiger, wild dog and spotted hyena all co-exist. 

The Serengeti of the South is no longer a pipe-dream….it is a reality. A living testimony to what can be achieved with vision, resolve and money. 

However, without the money it remains a pipe-dream. I have been to the banks, the interest rates are crippling. I have searched for a champion without success. Now I am exploring the hunters. I am purely the messenger.  

"Don’t shoot the messenger". 

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


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Newsletter 128
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An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
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Newsletter 126
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Real Hunters

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An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
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Newsletter 112
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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
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The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
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Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
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Ambassador Cats

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Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
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Tibo's Dilemma

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05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
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Newsletter 100
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Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
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Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
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The Power of the Picture

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Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
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Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
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Bush School: Where are they now?

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Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

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John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

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Marion's Big Cat Safari

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Newsletter 88
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The Communicators

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A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
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Profit is the Name of Your Game

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Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
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In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
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Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

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Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

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Digital Photography

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06/09/13
Zoochosis

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Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
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Raw Power

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The Evolution of the Tracker

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An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

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Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
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Rumble in the Jungle

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Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

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A Journey to Nowhere

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The John Hume Approach

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28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
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A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
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Newsletter 55
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What price must beauty pay?

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Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
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Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
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The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
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Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
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Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
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Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
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Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

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The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
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Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
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Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
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Gaian Reminder

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Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
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Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
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Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
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Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust