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 (http://wildboere.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2015-Gem-Wildpryse-Vleissentraal.pdf):
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: rynoraregame.co.za