Thursday, July 05, 2007

Botswana: Hunter suspended for shooting radio-collared leopard

The Voice (Francistown)
3 July 2007

A leopard - collared for research purposes - has been shot by a foreign client on safari in the Sankuyo concession (NG34). A Botswana-licensed professional hunter, who was with the client, has been suspended from hunting in the area for the rest of the season and "in the foreseeable future," says the Botswana Wildlife Management Association (BWMA).

The professional hunter, who has not been named, told his Maun office and Tico McNutt of the Botswana Predator Conservation Programme about the shooting.

The hunter told the BWMA that neither he nor his client saw the collar on the leopard, and would not have shot it had they seen it. The matter was referred to the BWMA executive committee, which submitted a written report to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP).

The BWMA has strongly condemned the hunting of collared animals on moral and ethical grounds and any professional hunters found guilty of intentionally killing a collared animal faces suspension from the BWMA and may lose their professional hunter status.

The BWMA says it "recognises the value and support given to the industry by the Botswana Predator Conservation Programme and other researchers in Botswana , and will ensure that all members comply with requests from researchers to monitor, support and encourage all research efforts ."

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