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King Bull

Want one as a trophy? Come with a very big wallet.

Forget rhinos and lions – the most expensive South African species offered to hunters is a wildebeest “King Bull”…

South Africa likes to pride itself as a wildlife “conservation minded” nation that has allowed private enterprise via their game farms to increase wildlife numbers.  

For sure, there are very many fenced game farms in South Africa. I have long said these game farms have nothing to do with conservation and are at the end of the day purely private businesses run for profit. These farms, for example, buy rhinos from the wild (Kruger National Park and Ezemvelo) and stake them out to be trophy hunted. Game farms also “tailor” their fenced stocks to gain maximum return via trophy hunters, meat hunters, skin sales, etc.

We all know by now that “wildlife” is bought and traded via auctions to stock game farms to make maximum money. The biggest private wildlife auction company goes by the name “Vleissentraal” and it is interesting to have a look at their AVERAGE auction prices for a number of species.

So what would you say were the animals fetching the highest auction bids at game sales? Lions? Rhinos?

You would be wrong. The average auction price for a male lion is a paltry $15,851. The average price for a white rhino bull is $23,176.

Now let’s look at some of the animals for which the game farmers are bidding the highest prices (

Wildebeest “King Bull” - $744,314
Springbok “coffee” ram - $168,721
Impala “saddleback” ram - $292,901
Gemsbok “red” bull - $163,680
Blesbok “white saddleback” - $275,672
Blesbok “yellow” ram - $69, 219

Get the trend? These are all inbred “colour” varieties for which “sport” hunters are willing to pay massive prices to get their prizes from the Safari Club International, the Dallas Safari Club, etc.

Game farming is all about profits, not conservation.  

Oh, and guess what the lowest priced animal is on the Vleissentraal list?

The average auction price for a hyrax is $9. Also to be trophy hunted.

Picture credit:

Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:20

Richard Cavell
10th July 2016 at 04:48

People really actually shot Hyrax for sport? That must take a lot of courage!

It has always been my firmly held belief that these privately fenced reserves are just as you explain them here & nothing what so ever to do with conservation the simple facts are that wildlife needs wild places not numerous fenced farms. It is about time 'conservationists' wake up, wildlife doesn't need managing, people need managing, simply to let wild life live. its not wild if its managed by people.

Of course it may already be to late to allow wild life be truly wild!

As this site often implies if not explicitly states, conservation is about people for people, it is time we change peoples values to respect nature. Nature doesn't need money, conservation itself, in a weird sense has simply become a self serving industry all of its own, there simply to make money for those that claim to be protecting wild life!

Of course we need money to pay people to manage the activities of people to preserve nature.

I am truly against to much invasive wildlife research much research that is undertaken seems simply there for self serving purposes, we do need good research to estimate wildlife populations but money shouldn't be diverted from the real needs of wildlife that is safe guarding vast wild areas & corridors for nature to benefit nature & not simply holiday resorts for the rich famous & cowardly hunters.

rant over carry on the good work.

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