Trophy hunting tender an old concession

14 January 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



A tender for trophy hunting that was advertised in December involves old concessions already awarded through an auction in 2018.

This is according to the environment ministry, which faces questions about why the advertisement was placed during a time when many interested parties may have missed it.

Last month, the ministry advertised a tender to bid on a wide range of trophy hunting concessions on state land outside communal conservancies.

The closing date to bid was advertised as Friday; however, the ministry said it will likely be extended.

According to the advertisement, all interested parties were to provide a financial offer indicating the price per individual animal.



Elephants, leopards

It said trophy hunting concessions available in the Mangetti National Park and the Western Kavango included two elephants and two leopards over a four-year period.

Concessions for two spotted hyena, six eland, two duikers, two steenbok, three blue wildebeest and five zebras were also up for grabs. In the Khomas Hochland National Park and the Okahandja Nature Reserve, 10 Hartmann's mountain zebra concessions are available as well as three blue wildebeest, six oryx, four kudu, three common impala, two eland and three warthog. “It is important to note that these are not new concessions. These concessions were already awarded through an auction in 2018 with the contracts starting in 2019 for three years, with a possibility of extension for another two years,” the ministry explained. It said even before 2018, hunting took place in these parks and that the concessions were awarded along with Waterberg, Mahango and Namib Naukluft concessions.



Terminated contracts

“Unfortunately, the companies that won the concessions for Mangetti and Daan Viljoen/Von Bach Game Park in 2018 decided to terminate the contract in 2020. Termination of contracts and acceptance of termination by the ministry was only concluded in November 2020, and thereafter, preparations for advertising to get new companies for the concessions started.”

The ministry said because the marketing and sale of the animals for trophy hunting is usually done by professional hunters and safari companies during December to March, they thought it was necessary to go ahead with the advert to give those interested a chance.

It further said given the enquiries they are receiving, interest from various companies is there and the advert appears to have reached everyone interested and involved in the business. “There is absolutely no deliberate attempt to keep anyone from applying, that's why the advert was placed in the available newspapers for anyone to get access to it.”



'Nothing wrong'

The environment ministry stressed that there is nothing wrong with doing trophy or conservation hunting in a park or area where there are rhinos.

“Professional hunters are given conditions on which to operate from, including a condition of security or wildlife protection. Many of the professional hunters or hunting companies play a critical role in wildlife protection. They assist the ministry in wildlife conservation and the protection thereof.

“Mangetti is not the only park where there are rhinos and hunting taking place. Waterberg is another and the rhino population in both parks has been doing very well, and poaching has been almost zero. In fact, even a rhino can be trophy hunted - we have done that before and we will do it again,” the ministry said.

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