Target: Governments of South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe
Goal: End the brutal and inhumane hunting of giraffes for sport.
In many African countries, it is legal to hunt giraffes for sport. Hunters from around the world pay up to 15,000 dollars just for the chance to kill one of these animals. Despite declining giraffe populations, these African countries claim that hunting can be profitable for the government and citizens and that giraffe populations can be sustainably managed. But the continuation of this brutal practice only perpetuates the idea that these animals are a commodity and encourages illegal poaching. End the hunting of giraffes for sport today.
Hunters from countries like Russia, the United States and Germany pay thousands of dollars for plane tickets to countries like South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe where hunting of giraffes is still allowed. Game parks charge trophy fees for killing the animals and additionally daily fees for hired trackers and guides. The final bill can be up to 15,000 dollars. The governments of these countries argue that this brings money, tourism and giraffe meat to local communities and point to the fact that giraffe populations in their countries have remained stable. But giraffes have gone extinct in Angola, Mali and Nigeria and the giraffe population has been halved since 1988 to the current number of 80,000. Though the Giraffe Conservation Foundation cites human development as the main reason for their decline, one cannot help but wonder how sustainable and ethical hunting these endangered animals can be.
Trophy hunters often miss their target and end up shooting the giraffe in a place that results in a painful death. Illegal poachers also use nets and snares to capture giraffes, which results in a similarly painful death. How can countries that have made giraffe hunting illegal expect to combat poachers when they are sending the message that hunting big game is okay? Giraffe populations are plummeting and no matter what the cause, we cannot allow these beautiful creatures to be hunted for sport.
Dear Presidents Jacob Zuma, Hifikepunye Pohamba and Robert Mugabe,
Currently, you are the only three African states that allow legal hunting of giraffes. We understand that this can be a lucrative industry for both the government and the people of your countries and that your giraffe populations have remained relatively stable, but you are also sending the message that it is okay to hunt these harmless and threatened animals. This may increase poaching in countries where hunting giraffes is illegal.
Poachers use cruel and inhumane methods to capture giraffes, and even legal hunting can sometimes result in a painful death for the giraffes. Angola, Mali and Nigeria have already seen their giraffe populations go extinct. Please take a stand against cruel game hunting and for the giraffes of Africa. Ban hunting of giraffes before it is too late.
[Your Name Will Go Here]