Friday, February 3, 2012

Can hunting endangered animals save the species?

I watched an interesting and thought-provoking segment on CBS 60 Minutes on January 29, 2012 - Can hunting endangered animals save the species? on Big Game Hunting preserves that are not in a foreign country but here in the US. One Texas ranch has rare antelope, Scimitar-horned Oryx, that are extinct in the wild but they are thriving here.

Texas now has more exotic wildlife than any other place on earth. There are over 5,000 exotic ranches in the US. Years ago, ranchers got animals from zoos that no longer wanted them and they have helped many endangered animals thrive, even though they are dwindling in the wild.

The US government allows hunting these animals because it is regulated heavily and the animals are not allowed to be over hunted. One rancher says that hunting these animals are the best way to make sure they thrive in the future. The high cost of the hunting license for each animal is what is supporting the cost of operating the ranches. The money that hunting brings in pays for the preservation of the species.

Animal activists say that if the animals exist only to be hunted then they should just be extinct. Activists have gotten the US government to make it harder, almost impossible, to obtain hunting permits. Ranchers say that in 10 years there will be no more of these animals in Texas, or anywhere in the wild.

What do you think - is is right to be able to hunt endangered animals in order to save them from extinction?

Photo: Scimitar-horned Oryx

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