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Newsletter 157
12/02/18

Safari Club International Bans Canned Lion Hunting

Hello Friends 

The decision by Safari Club International to ban canned lion hunting, has sent shock waves through the hunting community in South Africa. 

Canned lion hunting exists in virtually every province in South Africa and was born in the province of the Free State, where Tiger Canyons is situated. 

Safari Club International is by far the biggest hunting organisation in the world. It has no less that 180 chapters with over 50,000 members.

Most of the hunters that sustained the canned lion industry year after year, were from the USA. Hunters from Europe and elsewhere, also came to do canned lion hunts, but the USA is the main source of hunters. 

The Safari Club International decision does a number of things. Firstly, it prevents any advertising of canned lion hunting at its conventions. Secondly it sends out a powerful message to its hunters that a canned lion hunt is not be recognized as a sporting hunt. 

The ban cuts to the very psyche of the hunter. In shooting your lion in a canned lion hunt, you have taken no personal risk, you have exposed yourself to no danger, you have not entered a “Fair Chase” with the lion. 

This is the equivalent of saying to an Olympic athlete you won the gold medal at the Olympics, but you took drugs, you cheated, I am stripping you of your title. 

In South Africa there are between 7000 and 8000 lions in captivity, mostly males being bred for the canned lion industry. In the Free State there are 6 lion breeding operations that have many lions at their facility. 

The feeding costs to support these lions is extremely high. If the major supply of hunters from the USA dries up, these lion breeders will not be able to sustain. 

There is no emotion attached to these lions, they are purely commodities to be shot when heir manes are at their peak. 

If there are no hunters forthcoming to the lion breeders, they will have few options:

a. Look for other markets. This will be time consuming and costly.
b. Sell lion hunts to South African hunters at discounted prices. This will not be viable.
c. Euthanize their lions and sell the body parts to China. (These body parts will be relabeled Tiger Body parts when they arrive in China)

I predict that the lion breeders will go for the third option and cash in. 

This means the body parts of several thousand lions may be flowing to China (It is still legal to export lion body parts from South Africa). 

I have filmed and photographed the lions in captivity in the Free State. Some of the most magnificent specimens are in cages, waiting to be shipped out to be hunted in canned hunts. 

Male lion with belly manes stretching halfway down their bodies, are pacing up in down in cages. (Hunters pay more for a belly mane) 

If these lions were reintroduced into the wilds, they would make the most fabulous tourist attractions. People would flock to photograph and film them. 

To the south of Tiger Canyons exists an area of 36,000 hectares. This area already has a predator proof fence around it. Call this area A. The habitat is entirely suitable for a cooperative predator like a lion to operate successfully. (Large prides of lions existed in the area before the advent of sheep farming). 

The area to the north of Tiger Canyons is 15,000 hectares, also with a predator proof fence enclosing it. Call this area B. 

If area A and area B were added onto Tiger Canyons (area C), then a block of 65,000 hectares could be established. 

Some 100 lions that will perish when canned hunting goes bankrupt, can be relocated to this park. Leopards can be introduced into the park. Tiger and cheetah populations already exist. In short we have a chance of achieving a park where lion, leopard, tiger and cheetah all co-exist. This is identical to the mission statement that I wrote in 2000. 

I’m appealing to photographers, conservationists, filmmakers, businessmen, musicians and philanthropists around the world to help me make the mission statement become a reality. 

A park with tiger (listed as highly endangered), cheetah (listed as threatened), lion (greatly reduced) and leopard, all co-existing, would surely be worthy of a world heritage site. 

Safari Club International has given us a massive opportunity, let’s use it! 

If anyone is able to assist in this bold project, please contact me:
jv@jvbigcats.co.za 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV

More information:

https://iwbond.org/2018/02/11/the-canned-killing-game-dead-or-alive/

https://www.iol.co.za/news/opinion/a-lion-policy-sa-cant-defend-13189901


Inbreeding: Two Schools of Thought

Hello Friends 

Thank you to all who replied to my last newsletter. It is gratifying to know that there are so many concerned people around the world that care about Tigers and their future.

It's important to understand that there are two big cats that have very narrow genetic bases. One is the cheetah and the second is the tiger. Both cats are at Tiger Canyons. 

In layman’s language “a narrow genetic base” means that some time in their evolutionary journey, these cats nearly went extinct.

A small isolated pocket of tigers existed in Asia and it is from this population that the modern tiger radiated outwards. 

This theory is given credence by the fact that on the island of Sri Lanka, there are no tigers. The island had split from the main land before the tigers migrated outwards. Therefore, all Tigers today are inbred as they came from this surviving pocket in Asia.

Some scientists believe that the Tiger, like the lion and the leopard, traveled south to Africa when it was all one land mass. Why the tiger did not survive on the African continent, these scientists cannot say. 

Did the habitat change, were they out-competed, did disease take them down? 

Basically there are two schools of thought in the scientific community. The first school of thought is that any inbreeding is bad and any cubs born from related tigers should be euthanized or at least sterilized. 

The second group of scientists of which Dr Pabla (Dr Pabla is a senior tiger expert in India with years of experience) and Doug Fitzgerald, (Doug Fitzgerald is a geneticist) is that nature has strong genes and it has weak genes. 

If two related tigress mate, there will be strong and weak genes. If two non-related tigers mate there will be strong and weak genes. 

When a tigress gives birth, the strong genes survive and the weak genes perish. The weak genes are either still born or die shortly after birth or cannot compete for milk with the strong cubs. 

In the film Tiger Man of Africa, Runti was a weak gene cub and being in a litter of 5, she was unable to compete and died at 12 weeks old. 

We know that all white tigers originated from a white male called Mohan who was removed from the wild in the 1950’s. 

After mating with his granddaughter, Mohan fathered the first white cubs born in captivity. 

If you subscribe to theory one, then these cubs should have been destroyed or not allowed to breed. However white tigers have a huge commercial value. Soon many zoos and circus acts were displaying white tigers in North America and Europe. 

The two white tigresses “Shine a Light” and “Tiger Bomb” (Tibo), born at Tiger Canyons, have both been very fine specimens.  Both were above average in size and Tibo has proved to be a very productive breeding female. (Shine was killed by hunters) 

Through a twist of fate as described in the last newsletter, Tibo has become impregnated  by her son Bird. Three healthy cubs have been born. One is normal colour and two are white. 

There are several scientific papers which describe the high tolerance of inbreeding in big cats. Indeed, in leopards we have seen mating between grandmothers and grandsons. Aunts mating with nephews. According to theory two, strong genes survive and weak genes perish.  

Our dilemma at Tiger Canyons is do we vasectomize and sterilize or do we let nature take its course? 

Please give me your thoughts on this. 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV


Tread lightly on the Earth

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


Newsletters


Newsletters 163
20/10/18
Open letter to leader of the DA Party

Newsletters 162
23/07/18
Raising 200

Newsletters 161
22/05/18
Reach for 200

Newsletters 160
06/05/18
The Power of the Photograph

Newsletter 159
14/04/18
Predator Aggression

Newsletters 158
19/02/18
Open letter to Cyril Ramaphosa

Newsletter 157
14/02/18
SCI bans canned lion hunting

Newsletters 156
26/01/18
Tibo produces white cubs

Newsletters 155
13/11/17
The Indian Connection

Newsletters 154
28/10/17
Desertification

Newsletter 153
20/10/17
Supermarket Shopper vs. Hunter Gatherer

Newsletter 152
14/10/17
JV's response to Elayna Kinley letter

Newsletters 151
29/09/17
Running on empty

Newsletter 150
14/09/17
The Survivor

Newsletters 149
05/09/17
In pursuit of Alan Root

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