Is Hunting Helping Conservation?

There has been a huge internet uproar over the recent death of the famous African lion “Cecil” at the hands of dentist Walter Palmer.  While internet lynch mobs seem to gather at the drop of a hat these days, only to disband just days later, it does bring an interesting light onto a controversial topic.

Recently Gizmodo blogger Wes Siler posted an interesting blog post highlighting the fact that these trophy hunters actually do a heck of a lot for conservation.  In fact, legal trophy hunting can help bring back animals from the brink of extinction as happened in South Africa with the southern white rhino.

It is interesting to note that these trophy hunters pay upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to shoot these animals, and if done legally the meat and hide will go to local villages and actually be used in a productive way.

I did not know that hunting was actually more commercially profitable than poaching, and could be an economic incentive to end poaching and strengthen the numbers of wild animals – simply because it’s profitable.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t need big-headed richy rich types to go in and kill certain animals.  However, is it the lesser of two evils?  We cannot rely on the human race to simply be altruistic and just “donate to the cause”.  Unfortunately money rules, and that’s just the way it is.  So perhaps a few animals must die to benefit the species?  I’ll take it.  I hate, hate, hate killing for the sport of killing.  It’s ridiculous.  I support killing animals, however, if it is for the greater good – whether it be food or conservation efforts.

I say, if we have to choose one, allow big game hunting for a high price tag.  People will pay – there are a lot of rich people out there.

Also, hopefully Africa can clean up its act a bit and crack down on the crooked swindlers that take much of this cash for themselves.

What do you think? Do you think a certain amount of hunting should be allowed in order to benefit the greater good of conservation and animal populations?