Sad news for the wildlife of Tanzania. The US trophy import ban on Tanzanian elephant and lion trophies is now having real – and potentially devastating – consequences, including the loss of decades of successful nature conservation.
The following sad message is from Eric Pasanisi, one of the largest outfitters in Tanzania. Until now.
“I confirm that I surrendered all my hunting blocks of all my companies today.
My family has been the longest operating company in Tanzania – for more than 40 years.
We have been the biggest operator in Tanzania and all of Africa.
We have held the largest part of the Selous, with prime blocks, the same since 1978 which I finished surrendering all today.
We have gone from 126 safaris per year to a handful because of the closure of US elephant and lion trophy imports.
We cannot book enough 21 day safaris to make a profit or stay in business without lion and elephant imports into the US. Our losses are escalating so I have to stop.
When US elephant and lion hunting imports were threatened we stepped up our anti-poaching to US$2.4 million in three years.
We by ourselves funded 100 Selous game scouts for many years. You saw our books and took copies of our ledger sheets for US authorities.
You saw the newspaper clippings of the vehicles and plane our foundation delivered.
You even attended the public ceremonies with the minister. Remember the work done!
I know that Warden of the Selous wrote to the US how important our presence was to control poaching in the Selous.
At the same time I have donated many full safaris to Shikar for auction to fund the US$500,000 for lion studies and aging, work that was ignored by USFWS, perhaps because of Craig Packer [US lion biologist and anti-hunting activist], I do not know!
The efforts of Tanzania, of my companies and foundation have been completely ignored by USFWS, so we have already been operating at a loss for too long it is time to stop and I cannot guarantee that the biodiversity of the hunting areas will not be lost now!.
Our involvement in anti-poaching has become almost zero this year because our income losses. I think that the decisions by USFWS will eventually exterminate all Tanzania wildlife outside National Parks because of their determination to stop the importation of trophies into the US.
Everything will end very quickly and wildlife will disappear in these areas that represent almost one-third of Tanzania territory.
I have already returned 10 blocks the past years and with no hunters in the field it is going to be very difficult to save our last elephants.
Our poor elephants, our poor animals, SHAME on….!!!!
The real truth is that everyone does not care and nobody can realize the irreversible damage caused by such decisions. It is certainly the END OF THE GAME if your governments do not realize and help Tanzania.
Anyway, It is already too late for me, and soon it will be too late for other outfitters.