To Trade or Not to Trade
"The Answer my Friend
Is Blowing in the Wind
The Answer is Blowing
In the Wind"
The CITES Convention held recently in South
Africa, has come to an end (Convention of International Trade in
Endangered Species). CITES like the law has good intentions but it
is man made and hence flawed.
Botswana who has the most elephants of any
African country and the best President in the world, were motivating
with Kenya, for elephants to be uplifted to Appendix I. This, if
achieved, would spell the end of the trade in ivory world wide.
Kenya supported Botswana, but South Africa,
Namibia and Zimbabwe opposed it. The European Union, USA, Canada,
Russia, China, Norway, Korea and Japan also opposed the
motivation to Appendix 1 and so elephants were left on Appendix 2.
Ivory can continue to be traded. A sad day for elephants indeed.
What I can't understand is how can countries with
no elephants affect the vote of the African elephant. Surely African
leaders and African people should be responsible for their elephant
populations and outsiders should not be allowed to affect the vote.
The CITES decision to close Tiger Farms in China
is to be applauded. However, there can be serious repercussions to
this decision. If China does close the Tiger Farms (The Chinese
Government is heavily invested in some of the larger tiger farms)
then some 6000 tigers on 200 farms will be destroyed.
It is these tigers that supply the lucrative body
parts trade in China. Once this population is gone, the pressure
will then fall on the remaining wild tigers (about 2 500 in the
wild) to supply the body parts trade.
Another source of body parts will be the 8 000
captive lions in South Africa. It is well known that when a lion is
shot in a canned hunt, the body parts are shipped via Pretoria or
Durban to China. Once they arrive in China, they are relabeled tiger
body parts and no one is any the wiser.
My question is if CITES has the power to close
the tiger farms, then why didn't they close the captive lion farms
in South Africa?
The only explanation is that the South African
Government has no desire to close this cancerous industry. This was
a golden opportunity. It's a sad day for the thousands of lions
pacing up and down in dingy cages across South Africa.
Therefore the South African Government's non
support of elephants to Appendix 1 and their non support of closing
the lion farms in South Africa, sends out a strong and disturbing
message world wide. We are more interested in money. We are more
interested in trading wild animal parts.
I suggest this is against world trends. In my
opinion South Africa has gone from leader to follower and a dismal
follower at that. It is no coincidence that two weeks ago South
Africa was voted the most corrupt country in the world.
The illegal trade in wild life products ranks
fourth behind drugs, arms and human trafficking. Corruption and the
illegal trade in wild life products are bedfellows, they are vital
to each other's success.
While President Ian Khama has successfully
combated poaching by using his army and introduced rhino into
Botswana, South Africa has floundered by losing more than 5000
rhinos in the last 5 years.
One would have thought that South Africa would
have sought to emulate President Ian Khama, instead they have
pursued a route that is unethical and endorses cruelty. I predict
that in the long term this will not sustain and in the end will rot
from the inside. (By this time many more elephants and lions would
However, forget about CITES, forget about rules
and regulations and the mountains of documents and permits, forged
or legal, circulating the globe every day. Forget about the
bureaucrats trying to juggle the complex rules and regulations of
The truth is elephants, lions and tigers compete
with human beings. Lions and tigers eat our domestic stock,
elephants destroy our crops and eat the grass which could be eaten
by our cows. They are competitors for space, food and water.
As human beings we can no longer tolerate this
competition. Our population is approaching 10 billion, we need this
space to grow food for ourselves. This in a nutshell, is where the
game will be played and won or lost.
When I started my tiger project in the year of 2
000, there were 8 000 wild tigers and 40 000 in captivity. Today
there are about 2 500 wild tigers and 80 000 in captivity. It does
not take rocket science to work out what the end result will be.
"I Do not Take
The Future of the Planet
Or its Endangered Species
And Neither Should You"
JV, Tiger Canyons, 2016
Tread Lightly on the
Tigress Julie Lodge
Under Rodney Drew and Sheldon Nyce's guidance,
the lodge is moving forward at pace. We hope to be open for booking
on the 1st of January 2017. 6 Beds are available with bathroom
en-suite. There are two extra children's beds.
Some years ago we observed two young males,
Mahindra and Sundaban, form a coalition. We are observing the
same behavior with two young females, Jameez and Oria.
Jameez is the surviving cub of Ussuriís
litter fathered by Sariska. Oria is the surviving cub of Shadows
second litter fathered by Seatao.
Although not as gregarious as lions, tigers
will do anything to help ensure their survival. Obviously for
hunting and defense purposes, Jameez and Oria find it better to
form a coalition than remain on their own.
Once they become territorial females this
coalition will dissolve and they will become aggressive towards
The early rains have caused Tiger Canyons to
become covered in beautiful flowers. Tigers and cheetah moving
through the flowers and blue cranes doing their mating dance are
providing spectacular photo opportunities.
Death of Seatao
The location of Seatao's body has been kept
top secret. The value of the body parts will be in excess of $20