Zim shot down for lifting ban on buffalo bow hunting
Move to lure loaded foreign hunters is a dreadful development, says one wildlife expert
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 said this week 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 spokesperson.
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 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 trophy hunter 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. I reluctantly accept hunting as a financial necessity, but not with bow and arrow. Remember what happened to Cecil. This is wrong. And we don’t have much expertise here to know if the equipment is okay.”
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)