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Lord Derby Eland destined for South African farms to make trophy hunting easier?

                                                                   No sweat in the future

For trophy hunters, the Lord Derby Eland is a “special” prize. One trophy hunting site describes the animal as follows:

“The Lord Derby eland, also known as the giant eland, is the largest antelope species on Earth. It usually grows from seven to nine feet long, stands from just under five to nearly six feet tall at the shoulder, and weighs about 1,000-2,000 pounds. But it isn’t just their size that makes them such excellent trophies: these majestic creatures carry incredible spiral horns that can occasionally reach lengths of more than four feet” 

These eland are also very difficult to hunt. The same site mentions:

“Lord Derby eland hunting almost always requires active pursuit. These are wary, fast-moving animals that rarely stay in one place for long, and most hunts must be done by tracking on foot. Usually a professional hunter or guide will take clients through promising areas at dawn to look for fresh tracks, often from a vehicle if there are roads. Once tracks are found, the hunters must follow them as speedily as they can manage in order to catch up to the quarry. This can sometimes take days and lead far from the beaten path, making the services of a tried-and-true outfitter or PH absolutely essential.

 On top of moving quickly, the hunters must be extremely cautious—if you frighten an eland, it will often bolt immediately. Don’t count on it slowing down any time soon if this happens, either; one botched opportunity can result in hours or days of extra tracking before you catch up again. Make sure this doesn’t happen by paying close attention to your guide and never rushing your first shot”. 

Happily for the less intrepid trophy hunters, this difficult hunt might soon be made easier. 

There are moves afoot to export 120 or more Lord Derby Eland from Cameroon to a South African game farm. All in the name of “conservation” of course.  I urge you to open this link – it seems a done deal as even the type of transport plane has been identified and the entire introduction protocol established.  

Our source tells us a different story about the “conservation” aspect – he says the eland export was not properly evaluated by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon (MINFOF) but might proceed thanks to bribery and corruption that will negate any impact assessment and population census. Our source says it reveals the complete lack of governance, negation of management plans, high levels of corruption in the Ministry, lack of objection by local NGOs and absence of trained personnel in the wildlife department. He also mentions that the export of the eland will significantly impact the earnings of the resident hunting operators in Cameroon, something I will not lose sleep over.  

In other words collusion by the South African game farmers and officials in Cameroon? To facilitate trophy hunting of a non-indigenous species in South Africa? 

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Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:52

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