We love wildlife as much as the next person. We are as entranced as any viewer of a wildlife documentary programme by the magnificence of our animals – impala and warthogs too, not just lions and leopards.
At our Cawston ranch, we have high densities of zebra, impala, giraffe, sable, kudu, eland and wildebeest (although we have no elephant or lion living here they do very occasionally walk through our property).
The reason for this is because we sustainably manage our land and wildlife populations. When we took over Cawston, it was a derelict overgrazed cattle ranch. We worked hard to remove the remnants of cattle farming and make the land perfect for wildlife. In 1990, an estimated 100 impala lived on our property; twenty-five years later we have 2,000 despite us hunting 180 each year. In 1990 we had only 68 giraffes; there are now 200 despite us hunting about five a year. If trophy hunting is bad and kills off our wildlife why have our wildlife populations done so well?
Our view and that of many conservationists, is that the greatest threat to our wildlife – like wildlife the world-over – is loss of habitat.
As for hunting, we believe that sustainable, regulated hunting is good for our wildlife populations, good for our environment and good for our local communities and economy.