Sunday 16 June 2019

Fury as ban on hunting buffalo with bows lifted

Cecil the lion. Photo: AFP PHOTO / ZIMBABWE NATIONAL PARKS
Cecil the lion. Photo: AFP PHOTO / ZIMBABWE NATIONAL PARKS

Peta Thornycroft

Zimbabwe has controversially lifted a ban on hunting buffalo with bows and arrows in a bid to attract big-spending foreign tourists.

The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority this week said only heavy-duty bows would be permissible in an attempt to ward off criticism that such weapons raise the risk of only wounding the thick-skinned beasts.

"These type of bow and arrows kill instantly," said Tinashe Farawo, the authority's spokesman.

Hunters who want to shoot buffalo by bow will have to use modern arrow-heads of at least 30mm cutting length, present their equipment for inspection and be accompanied by trained guides.

The government has maintained the veto on using the weapon to hunt other animals with a firm hide including the hippo and elephant. Only guns can be used on such creatures.

Archers have been allowed to hunt lions for years - a custom that sparked outrage in 2015 when an American wounded Cecil the lion with an inaccurate arrow-shot during an illegal hunt. The big cat escaped but was found wounded the next morning before being shot dead.

A wildlife expert, who volunteers in Zimbabwe's vast Hwange National Park, said: "This is a dreadful development. We don't have much expertise here to know if the equipment is OK."

Irish Independent

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