Kendall Jones - One of many opinions

This is our first post in this our own humble blog and I don't know how to go about it so I thought the easiest would be to just start.

 

In the last couple of days the international media has picked up the topic of Kendall Jones, a 19 year old girl from the United States who likes hunting. So far so good. If you have not followed it you might wonder what the problem is about this blonde rather attractive young cheerleader interested in a once typical men's domain. We are in 2014 not 1842 you might think. Well things are a bit more complicated in this widely discussed topic, she likes trophy hunting in Africa and she uses her facebook profile to publish images of herself bow hunting endangered species like elephants, lions, leopards and most of all rhinoceros with rather tasteless comments. I will not "bash" her or wish her any bad as enough people have done so to let her know most people disapprove her leisure activities.

Why she is doing it, I don't know as I don't know her in person. There are many possibilities and one which seems rather likely is the common phenomenon of craving for fame. Post a few pictures of yourself doing unusual things and people will spread them and make you rich and famous. Ever since MTV brought us "Jackass" a lot of people have walked that path, very few with success but that does not stop people from trying. I am sure everyone who reads this will know some examples right away.

 

Why does she have to hunt endangered animals in Africa you might ask. Good question but instead of doubting her intelligence and insulting her I asked myself does this 19 year old girl even know these animals are endangered? Due to my passion for Africa and obviously also this our homepage I try to be well informed about happenings in Africa, especially the countries I have been to or planning on going to. I also often talk to people about Africa in general and it is sometimes shocking how little even highly educated people know about it. Be it geographically or other topics many people just get their information from the international media and they don't report about how wonderful Africa can be but the headlines are death, famine and terror. Certainly Africa has many problems, even in the stable countries, and I will not deny that fact. And it is logical that, to a point, these topics dominate but I think the international media should also vary their programme by looking for success stories as believe it or not they exist in Africa too.

If you want more than random information you need to really dig deep into the internet. One topic which most media successfully ignore is the dramatical increase of poaching in Africa in the last 12-13 years. In the year 2000 6 rhinoceros where poached in South Africa, in 2013 1004, on the 30th June 2014 496 so if there is no miracle this year will match last year's figures more or less. You did not now? Well you are not alone...Certainly a lot of efforts are taken to prevent these terrible crimes but the areas to protect are huge, the poachers are well equipped and aggressive and the population poor. Figures of arrests are stable more or less and a lot of rangers as well as poachers lose their lives. One could call it a certain type of war happening on a daily basis. Howard Buffett donated 24 Million $ to SANPARKS, the government-run operator of all National Parks in South Africa. Certainly a great gesture and a good thing but in the end a drop in the bucket. Each one who reads this can help spread the word...

 

So instead of blaming Kendall Jones one could also say why don't the media inform people about poaching better and the real danger of extinction for some of Africa's most iconic species? Why don't they use Kendall Jones to introduce the poaching problem to a wider public?

Trophy hunting is not poaching you might say. True, it is an industry of its own and the game reserves, National Parks etc. have to manage their "stocks". Space is limited and too many animals are not healthy for the ecosystem. But lions, leopards, rhinoceros are not part of the too many category...

 

To sum it up, it is too easy to blame her and only her as there are many Kendall Jones' in this world, they might be male, might be older, might be different, the result will nevertheless be a dead animal, for some species one too many. The true and deeper problem is not the trophy hunting though but the poaching as without poaching there would be enough animals for the richer ones of us to follow their hobby. The money from trophy hunting is partly used for conservation to lower the dramatic effects of poaching in many regions.

 

I would never paticipate in hunting and we at Trouver Services will regularly post updates on poaching as that is the true evil. This post is in no way an excuse for Kendall Jones and the way she goes about it but sometimes you need to dig deeper to find the real problems.

 

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment,

 

Romain

Comments: 8
  • #8

    Trouver Services Ltd (Sunday, 06 July 2014 11:55)

    @Kobbe

    Education is very important but not only for the poachers in Africa but also for the customers who purchase the items. In Asia it is a common belief that grind rhino horn increases your sexual performance. It is medically proven that it is completely useless for this matter, a rhino horn is nothing else than hardened hair to keep it simple. I don't think any of the customers would consume their neighbors hair.

    Tourism can be a major factor but governments should also not forget the people. If you make people understand they can benefit from it then you also have to make them benefit and not put it in your pocket.

    We at Trouver Services are very interested in Africa generally and it clearly is our intention to create awareness for problems and think about solutions or at least present our ideas about them.

  • #7

    Kobbe O'Bryan (Saturday, 05 July 2014 22:07)

    Poaching is undoubtedly quite a serious issue in Africa, to the best of my knowlegde, not too sure about the height of the subject matter in other countries or continents though. A few trips to some villages around a few parks and other tourist sites will enlighten you though via a set of unanswered questions, including the "why poaching?" and how to curtail all in relation to the issue of poaching and depreciated value of certain tourist sites and 'objects', in the eyes of mostly the locals. The fear of some species going extinct and even how badly an effect of 'disturbing' wildlife can have on even the little development that has surfaced as a result of tourists (New people) entering these communities is not one a thought that crosses the minds of these locals mostly. But the thing is, do they even have a idea what this means to them? Maybe they don't see the value of what they probably might be having in their vicinity, maybe the idea of why foreigners would even travel accross miles just to visit what we have had for years, may not even be something anyone has ever pondered over. I figured all these mostly is due to illiteracy, lack or inadequate education on these sites and its beauties, little or no development of these areas, which may equally reduce their appreciation of wildlife, as they may not have even seen much benefits of funds generated from these tourist sites, ipso facto, little attention from the authorities incharge of these elements of nature. These mostly I deem a management issue, as there's mostly little attention, paid to wildlife, except the attention.of poachers. I figured a lot of education given to the public, possibly through the local authorities or chiefs, would do a great deal, as the locals respond greatly to their 'superiors'.

    The beauty of wildlife and benefits of tourism ard all sujects that can be fused into the schools' syllabus, just to give a substantial amount of education to the public, right from early school and this can also have a trickle down effect to even illiterate parents gradually. I don't deem poaching a "poverty" issue, as there are many ways locals in these areas can survive without 'touching' wildlife, but there's a big issue of as to whether they appreciate and understand what they have around them. However, it is important to point out that, not all poachers are locals.
    It is actually great to read and share about some of these things, as to how come I am enthused immensely about Trouver services as it looks like you guys are bent on not just entertaining tourists and travellers and giving them an adventure, but also informing, aiding and further educating them about all they need to know. Great job and kudos to you!

  • #6

    Trouver Services Ltd (Friday, 04 July 2014 18:54)

    @Ato
    I think we need to really make a clear distinction between poaching and trophy hunting. Poaching is illegal and trophy hunting is permitted under some conditions (mainly if you pay enough money). I doubt Kendall is poaching, it looks to me like she does it "legally" by a specialized company.

    Glad you enjoyed reading and we will certainly try to keep advocating against poaching as imagine an Africa without elephants, rhinos or lions. I don't think anybody wants that and that is the direction we are heading to.

  • #5

    Trouver Services Ltd (Friday, 04 July 2014 18:49)

    @ Marietta

    Well they call it sports...a prominent example is the former king of Spain who went trophy hunting in Botswana few years ago.

  • #4

    Ato Bartels (Friday, 04 July 2014 17:28)

    Enjoyed reading. Kendall has brought us to our feet by unknowingly portraying poaching; an obvious killer of eco-tourism in Africa. a lot of people , both local and foreign feel free to poach for diverse reasons being biological or social. Poverty leads the indigenous ones to view poaching as no problem.

    Lack of proper steps to take-over forests from local residents by authorities also contribute to poaching. Kendall was definitely aided by some local folks who still feel such forests and game areas belong to them. They would prefer helping her and gain some few dollars to serving as watchdogs for conservation.

    Good piece from Trouver and i hope to keep advocating against poaching from various angles .

  • #3

    Marrietta Acquaye (Friday, 04 July 2014 17:08)

    I still didnt think in this 21st century people will still kill animals for the fun of it. With all the education didnt think humans would be so cruel.

  • #2

    Trouver Services Ltd (Thursday, 03 July 2014 18:59)

    Poverty makes it easy for the mainly asian crime syndicates to find people risking their lives by entering the national parks or game reserves to poach the animals. It is a risky business, you patrol at night in the complete darkness with an old rifle on lands which have the Big 5 and with rangers ready to shoot you. There are no reliable statistics how many poachers lose their lives as if you are attacked by an animal and you die from it it is unlikely that your body will ever be found (big cats, hyenas, vultures,etc.) and Kruger Park just as an example has around 20.000 km2!

    Education is very important of course but it is also not always easy to establish high standards as that costs money which most African states don't have. This is why I think in the beginning African countries should really focus on improving their touristic infrastructures, tourists come and spend money in restaurants, attractions, entrance fees, hotels, souvenirs etc. All these things need workforce and that brings money to the families, that brings better education to the next generation etc. But the first step will be a general change of attitude, tourists come and spend money but they do not want to pay for nothing, do something and you get your money, do nothing get nothing and expect to get money, I could now state the Elmina boys as a classical example for this attitude...

  • #1

    Kwame (Thursday, 03 July 2014 10:19)

    Interesting read. The poverty of the local folk that leave in the areas where these endangered species reside contribute a lot to these incidents.. I believe also that advocacy and grassroot education will help stem the activities of poachers.....and trophy huntera and any other...


    I wi spread the word...