People, Wildlife and a New Book

At last the general election is over and with such a huge Conservative majority, I had hoped that the country would settle down and start pulling together.

But no – there were anti Bunter demonstrations in London last night and I watched a particularly rancorous Question Time programme on the iplayer this morning. Admittedly it was a London audience but it did not make for easy viewing with many irritable arguments plus claim and counter claim. What is the matter with these people? Surely, they must realise that it is time for the Nation to come together and move on, yet it seems that nobody in this day and age is prepared to accept any view that differs from their own.

I fear that this way of looking at life is what leads to eventual anarchy.

The day was a good one for me though as I received advance copies of my new book, Ivory Challenge. It is another short novel that while being a love story of sorts, also tries to show the difference between trophy hunting and poaching. I suppose it is my own small attempt to counter the general hysteria that accompanies trophy hunting these days. I don’t want to hunt myself but I can understand the people who do and believe it or not, professional hunters are the most efficient conservationists of all.

I am often told that photographic safaris are equally good for conservation but I’m afraid I can’t agree with that. Eco tourists as they are called look at a totally artificial and unreal Africa. Yes, they see a number of wild animals and take photographs that have been taken many thousands of times before, usually from the rear seats of luxury safari vehicles. Yes, it means that individual animals can live to a grand old age, but in the bush that usually means they are ripped to pieces by hyenas in their old age or starve to death because they can’t catch prey any more or have lost their teeth.

In hunting areas, the land is harsher. There are few roads and the ethical hunters shoot only the oldest animals, because (a) they are the ones on hunting licenses and (b) they are invariably the animals with the largest, tusks, horns or other attachments. In general hunting clients kill cleanly and if they do not, the professional hunter with them will ensure that the animal is followed up and despatched before it is allowed to suffer unnecessarily. This keeps the populations of individual species at a manageable level and in the process, brings money in to local tribesmen. This in turn means that the tribesmen look on wildlife as a source of income rather than a dangerous nuisance so they learn to protect the animals in their areas. They also keep poachers away rather than encouraging them as they have always done in the past.

Well meaning people tell me that all hunting is barbaric and if one takes the basic concept of an armed man stalking down and killing a noble creature, then yes it is, but there is a great deal more to it than that. Hunting and killing are in the genetic makeup of Mankind and surely it is better that this is used to benefit wildlife rather than allowing wild life to be snared, to die in agony or poached by unscrupulous people who don’t give a damn for the animal itself.

I could go on but would suggest you read the book. It is entitled Ivory Challenge and is available on Amazon for £7.99 or as an ebook on Kindle for £2.99 or if you want a signed copy, through me, for £8 plus postage, which in the UK amounts to £2. An extra penny for a signature that could be valuable in a hundred years time can’t be bad surely?!

If any of you do buy or read the book, please send me your comments when you have. For a professional scribbler, readers’ comments – whether good or bad – are what keeps us glued to our typewriters.

So go on, buy the book and tell me what you think. If my little tale can change the outlook of a few irate people who have never given the hunting dilemma any serious thought, then it will have served its purpose.

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