Two years after completely closing the country to all big game hunting, Zambia lifts ban on hunting lions and leopards. Read on to see why they made the change.
The country of Zambia opted to ban all big game hunting in 2013 in order to reverse declining game populations. Over two years later, Zambia recently announced that they have lifted the ban on hunting lions and leopards.
Zambia announced last year that they would re-open big game hunting for all species, but keep hunting lions and leopards closed until a more detailed study could be completed. The study has since been completed and the country is set open hunting for lions and leopards again.
One of the reasons that the hunting ban was lifted was that the government realized that profits from hunting the lions and leopards could benefit both wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of rural communities. Namibia has come to a similar conclusion regarding hunting black rhino.
Fortunately, Zambia seems to be implementing strict controls and quotas to ensure that lion and leopard hunting is conducted in a sustainable manner.
Jean Kapata, the Zambian tourism and arts minister stated that:
I am lifting the ban on the following conditions: the guidelines are drafted into a statutory instrument so that they become part of the wildlife law. Lion hunting should only resume in the 2016-17 hunting season and not this year. Leopard hunting can resume this year – 2015-16 season – but with very cautionary quotas.
This is great news for hunters, conservation, and the people of Zambia. By reopening the country to lion and leopard hunting, the hunters who travel to Zambia will significantly stimulate the economy and help fund conservation and anti-poaching measures.