JV and THE BIG CATS


Home

Mission

Founder: John Varty

Tiger Canyons
Tiger Experiment
Invest in Tigers
Tiger Canyons tigers

Tiger Anatomy

Tourism

Volunteers
Merchandise
Research
JV Image Library
JV's Music

JV's Films

Poaching

Tiger Conservation

Tiger Subspecies

Tiger Newsletters

Tiger Photo Gallery

Contact us


 

 


Select newsletter in right column


Newsletter 144
06/04/17

Hunting versus Non Hunting

Hello Friends 

Please note this is an economic debate, not an ethical one. 

Recently on facebook, a debate raged between the hunting fraternity (wise use of resources) and non hunting people (protectionists) 

The usual mudslinging and abuse from both sides occurred. One of the posts from the non hunters, was that all hunters were psychopaths. 

Iím not sure that Teddy Roosevelt, Frederick Courtney Selous, James Corbett, Ernest Hemingway, James Stevenson-Hamilton and  Harry Kirkman amongst others would agree with you. 

In England a bunch of people including royalty, get on some horses and with a pack of hounds, chase a fox until it is exhausted. Outnumbered by 12:1, the fox is eventually ripped to pieces by the hounds. Are the people involved in the hunt all psychopaths? 

In Spain a large group of people gather in an arena to watch a matador taunt a bull and then kill it with a spear (occasionally the bull kills the matador). As the blood flows and the unfortunate bull crumbles to his knees, the King of Spain sips his best Spanish wine from the comfort of his royal box. Are they all psychopaths? 

Hunting, fox hunting and bull fights have a number of things in common. Firstly, great cruelty and secondly, enjoyment by human beings at the death of a fellow creature. 

But this newsletter is not about the ethics, but rather the economics of hunting. 

The Timbavati have spent millions of rands on improving their land, fencing their land and protecting their animals. 

The Timbavati record of protecting their rhino is one of the best around. 

Therefore their attitude is, if we have spent millions of rands protecting our land and animals, we would like a return on our money. 

The Timbavati can either photograph, catch or hunt their animals. 

Because of foot and mouth disease, only non cloven hoofed animals can be sold. This leaves Timbavati with hunting or photography. 

Hunting and photographic safaris are not compatible. However, Timbavati seem to have come up with a formulae whereby they are doing both. Good luck to them. They are cleverer than I am. 

Whether they should be allowed to hunt a hundred pound elephant is another debate (many feel that with only 30 left in the world, the big tuskers should be protected) 

However, letís examine the economics of hunting the bull elephant (letís say the price is $1 million or R13 million) 

The hunting outfitterís argument is that one hunter from overseas impacts the land for a few days, creates a few jobs for trackers and skinners, pays the Timbavati R13 million, which they can use for their good conservation work. 

The hunting outfitterís argument is: How many game drives burning fossil fuels need to be done to earn R13 million? How many Coke cans and consumer garbage from the tourists to earn R13 million? How much noise pollution from aeroplanes bringing tourists to the lodges to generate R13 million? How many toilets will be flushed at 5 litres of water a flush? 

The protectionists will argue that the hunter creates very few jobs and the meat from the bull elephant will never reach the local communities. In fact the protectionists will argue the local community will not benefit at all from the death of the bull elephant. 

Most private game lodges work on a ratio higher than 1 guest to 3 staff, i.e. a 50 bed game lodge employs more than 150 people. 

The protectionists will argue that in order for wild life to survive, the local communities must taste the benefits of the wild life. This is done through job creation and eco tourism. 

Under the protectionist scenario, the bull elephant should remain alive, because being a hundred pound tusker, he is a huge tourist attraction and therefore a renewable resource. 

Tread lightly of the Earth
JV


Elephant Bulls over 50 years old vs Human Men over 50 years old

In the big tusker debate, a discussion broke out between two posters. 

The one said human men like Elephant bulls over 50 years of age are no good for breeding. 

The famous tracker Winnis Mathebula, was still producing children with his young wife at the age of 70. 

My Kenyan tracker Lakakin Sukuli at 40 years of age, took a 14 year old wife. One of Lakakin's reasons was that when he was 60 years old, his wife would be 34 and would still be able to produce children. According to Lakakin many Masai men in their 70ís are still producing children. 

Why donít all you female activists get a sample of men over 50 and test their virility and their fertility. 

I offer myself as a sample, but how you get my sperm must be negotiated. 

Tread Lightly On The Earth
JV


Homo erectus

Hello Friends 

I am tracking a young tigress through rugged terrain. 

The rock I am standing on rolls from under my feet. I have a high centre of gravity, my weight is distributed downwards on two legs. The result is I fall heavily on the rocks. 

The tigress is moving over the same rocks. The rock rolls from under her paws. Her weight is distributed over 4 legs, she has a low centre of gravity. As the rock rolls, she simply jumps to the next rock. As she jumps, her tail is stretched out rigid to counter balance her. As she lands, her paws expand 30% and the digit pads mould around the rock upon which she is landing. Her weight is distributed across all 4 legs.  

Having picked myself up from my fall (the tigress has heard the fall from 500m away), I follow the tigress tracks into a dense thorn thicket. The thorns catch my clothes, retarding my progress, vines trip me up. The tigress hears me pursuing her. 

The tigress low to the ground, slips under the bush. The thorns comb through her silky coat. She moves silently on four leather padded paws. The tigress is moving at 5km an hour, clearly I will not catch up to this tigress.  

I stop to rest and get to thinking. Did our brain begin developing when we were moving around on all fours or did our brain develop after we became an erect species, moving on two legs. 

Once we were moving on two legs, there were certain advantages. We could see the prey over the grass. Our hands were free to use weapons.

The disadvantages were, we could be easily seen by the prey. Secondly, we were flat footed so acceleration was difficult (a tigerís weight is thrown forward as it moves and it can therefore accelerate swiftly if prey jumps up in front of them). Thirdly, as an upright species, our centre of gravity is high and we fall easily. 

Once our brain developed, we moved from primitive weapons to bows and arrows, to rifles, to automatic rifles, to nuclear weapons. 

Therefore my question for Dr Richard Leakey and Prof Lee Berger is as follows:
Did our brain enlarge when we were a species moving around on all fours or did we became an upright walking animal and then our brain enlarged? 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV


 Tigress Oksana

Hello Friends 

It is with regret that I have to inform you that the Tigress Oksana has been destroyed. 

Under pressure from the male tiger, Corbett, Oksana burrowed under a gabion and under the electrical fence. Oksana must have been under enormous pressure as large rocks were removed as she burrowed out. 

I pursued her for 34 days across 6 different properties. I estimate that she covered 150 km during this time. 

A helicopter was called 4 times, but Oksana refused to budge from the thick bush, even when the helicopter went low level. 

Five times she came to the entrance of the baited drop door cage, but she never entered. 

I tried playing distress calls of prey animals, but she never responded. 

A night vision infra red camera was purchased. 

Gavin Rous, the vet came 3 times, but never fired a single dart. 

During the search, Oksana made 9 warthog kills (Iím sure there were more), 2 porcupine kills, one mountain reedbuck and a mountain zebra. When she died, her chest was covered in porcupine quils.

On the journey, Oksana revealed water holes and fountains that I never knew existed. She took me through some of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever walked in. 

Over 2 000 man hours were used in the search. Construction of the lodge was delayed for 10 days as construction crews refused to work through fear of the escaped tigress. 

Oksanaís father was Sariska and her mother is TiBo (Oksana was a carrier of the rare recessive white gene) 

Oksana was just 28 months old and at dispersal age. Her death is a major setback for Tiger Canyons and for me a deep personal loss. 

I would like to thank: 

Trackers: Jacob Pieterse, Jacob 2, Sylvester, Herold Mogane, Dial Pieterse  and Joseph Pieterse.
Vet: Dr Gavin Rous
Helicopter Pilot: Wesley
Rodney and Lorna Drew, Emma Wypkema, Ben, Keisha Kleinhans, Thinus Steyn, JJ van Zyl, PD Jacobs, Jan Kruizenga, Piet, Tian, Abel Erasmus.
I would especially like to thank Wimpie Geyer of the Free State Nature Conservation for all the support given during the search. 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

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


Newsletters


Newsletters 148
09/08/17
Open letter re schools plus Panna cubs

Newsletters 147
17/07/17
It's Finished

Newsletters 146
31/05/17
Hunters

Newsletter 145
20/05/17
King Corbett

Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
Tiger Canyons

Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

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

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

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

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
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
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

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

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

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
Tiger Boma


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