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The good, the bad and the ugly about the missing lion

<img src="missing lion.jpg" alt="missing lion" width="3000" height="200">

The good, the bad and the ugly about the missing lion

The saga about the lion that escaped from the Karoo National Park continues to amuse and amaze us all. There are now one master tracker, 21 other experienced trackers, 6 tracker dogs, a helicopter and a fleet of vehicles engaged in the effort to find the errant lion, to dart it and to return it to the park. Then there is a media liaison team, support staff, vets on standby and a posse of journalists recording the search. This is quite a formidable task force!

The good…

SANPark should be commended for the enormous effort they are putting into the rescue of the escaped lion. They could have opted for sending a single professional hunter after it, but instead they decided that everything possible must be done to capture it alive. This most certainly sends a clear and positive message on just how dedicated SANPark is about its mandate to protect, conserve and manage our precious wildlife resources.

The bad…

The massive hunt for the missing lion is not about protecting human life. The Karoo is a sparsely populated expanse. One of the reasons why so much money, time and effort is spent on capturing the missing lion is the simple fact that lions are fast becoming an endangered species. Permits to hunt them are still routinely issued and trophy hunters from all over the world dream of bagging a lion. Perhaps it has become time to seriously review the regulations governing the hunting of vulnerable species.

The ugly…

Make no mistake, the efforts of SANPark to find the missing lion is commendable. I cannot help wondering, however, if such an effort and so much resources are ever employed to capture a murderer, rapist, drug lord or fraudster. If the search for every missing child receive the same attention and effort we would live in a much better society. If the same determined effort is made to clamp down on violent criminals we would all sleep better at night.