William Moalosi, a farmer and former hunting guide in Sankuyo, Botswana
The New York Times discovers that the 2004 hunting ban in Botswana is not popular with that country’s villagers.
SANKUYO, Botswana â€” Lions have been coming out of the surrounding bush, prowling around homes and a small health clinic, to snatch goats and donkeys from the heart of this village on the edge of one of Africaâ€™s great inland deltas. Elephants, too, are becoming frequent, unwelcome visitors, gobbling up the beans, maize and watermelons that took farmers months to grow.
Since Botswana banned trophy hunting two years ago, remote communities like Sankuyo have been at the mercy of growing numbers of wild animals that are hurting livelihoods and driving terrified villagers into their homes at dusk.
The hunting ban has also meant a precipitous drop in income. Over the years, villagers had used money from trophy hunters, mostly Americans, to install toilets and water pipes, build houses for the poorest, and give scholarships to the young and pensions to the old. …
[I]n Sankuyo and other rural communities living near the wild animals, many are calling for a return to hunting. African governments have also condemned, some with increasing anger, Western moves to ban trophy hunting.
â€œBefore, when there was hunting, we wanted to protect those animals because we knew we earned something out of them,â€ said Jimmy Baitsholedi Ntema, a villager in his 60s. â€œNow we donâ€™t benefit at all from the animals. The elephants and buffaloes leave after destroying our plowing fields during the day. Then, at night, the lions come into our kraals.â€
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