In South Africa, animal breeders have been accused of genetically engineering white lions with blue eyes. This is so big game hunters can boast about killing them.
To have a chance to kill unusually colored animals, like a coffee-colored springbok, a golden wildebeest, a white lion, or a black impala, South African ranchers will charge hunters 100 times more. As it turns out, there are plenty of people queuing up to shoot a rare animal to have as a trophy on their wall.
Bloomberg reports that animals are being engineered to produce a highly unusual and distinctive look that’ll get hordes of hungry hunters all excited about killing them from long range.
Barry York, who owns a ranch about 135 miles east of Johannesburg, said: “My first priority is to generate an income from the animals on my land. We breed them because they’re different. There’ll always be a premium paid for highly-adapted, unique, rare animals.”
Africa Hunt Lodge, a U.S.-based tour operator, said on its website: “What we offer is not an average or budget minded African Safari. The majority of our Africa hunt packages are 7-10 days for 5-10 animals… this allows our hunters to hunt without overabundant pressure, and time to see plenty of African game animals,” according to the Daily Mail.
Even though there is a continued popularity of hunting in South Africa, actual numbers of large game animals has increased, leading ranchers like Barry York to the conclusion: “Conservation is a by-product of what I do.”
The NSPCA claims the animals would not survive for long in the wild.
Peter Flack, a hunter and conservationist, describes the white lions and other animals with unusual coloring as “Frankenstein freaks of nature that have nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with profit.”
Meet hunter Michaela Fialova:
York responded to Flack’s claims by saying all his animals were created by Mother Nature. “They say these are Frankenstein animals, but where’s the test tube, where’s the lab? Sure, the golden color is a rare characteristic, but it occurs in nature.”
I’m not to sure why we still have to kill these animals for fun.
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