26 Nov 2005

Stir-Fry Endangered Species

As if Kenya's wildlife "gift" of 175 animals to some "zoo" in Thailand was not bad enough, while the Thais browse our animals by sight, they can also browse endangered species in the Night Safari Wildlife Park restaurant. No, it's not snacking on a little zebra at the Carnivore in Nairobi. The menu at this establishment fully conforms to the oriental theory of wildlife conservation: if you can't eat it with chopsticks, eat it anyway.

Thus diners can tuck into tiger, elephant and lion meat, among others. There happen to be only about 4000 tigers in the world and they are critically endangered. Lions are headed that way. If you eat an elephant in Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service wardens will give you a serving of hot AK-47 sauce to accompany it.

As a ex-professional hunter's son, I am totally for controlled licensing hunting or licensed utilization of our animals. Yet Kibaki shot down the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2005 after Parliament passed it, only to give the Prime Minister of Thailand animals for his zoo. We were meant to be getting tourists from Thailand, not letting them a chance see our animals for 5 Bhat at home, and then eat them? All in all, it is yet another sign of the disconnect between our Cabinet and ordinary Kenyan desires.

The reason we don't have a proper hunting tourism policy in Kenya is because of sinister NGO's like IFAW (International Fund For Animal Welfare). These seem to have enough money to influence KWS and certain politicians, it is rumoured. IFAW contain a strong component of vegan wildlife hippies and Animals Rights loonies. They are well described as " a thorn in the side of the sustainable use movement."

Interestingly, the respected IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) refused to accept IFAW as a member.

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