Who Are The Perpetrators?

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Who Are The Perpetrators?

In response to the recent death of professional game hunter, Ian Gibson, in Zimbabwe....

Read full story here.

The death of any living being is justification for pause and contemplation – ANY living being, whether that life be insect, tree, human, or otherwise. The death of this game hunter is no exception and condolences and compassion must be expressed to his family, his friends, and his community in general.

The question which has been posed, then, concerns the irony of this event and others which occur and have occurred under similar circumstances. Who (or what) is to blame – if, of course, we are seeking to accuse or denounce?

I think that in order to continue the conversation, we must first establish and agree that failure to live in harmony with other living beings is acceptable. We must acknowledge that killing other animate creatures for reasons other than for food is decent and respectable behavior. We must accede to the fact that hanging the stuffed trophy head of a magnificent, noble entity on our living room wall is a behavior befitting us as members of the species known as “modern humans”. We must also agree that we will not use excuses like, “killing to feed the poor local people” or “the giraffe was old and lonely” to manipulate the less educated and to justify our actions.

Because if we cannot acknowledge and agree with the preceding edicts, why, then, was this game hunter guiding someone to kill this elephant?

Now that we have established the acceptability and decency of war against any dynamic existence – and clearly we have done that, even against our own species! – surely we should level the playing field..? After all, we deign to call this pastime: SPORT. Is it not “sporting”, then, to use only ‘weapons’ provided naturally and in the due course of evolution? Surely the use of technologies unavailable to our ‘opponents’ does not lend itself to candid and honorable warfare.? And if we can accept this, too, as a parameter in an ‘ethical’ war, we must abolish the use of artificial weaponry – including the rifles which were intended to kill the hunted elephant.

I don’t believe that it is really necessary to proceed with this disgusting satire. The fact of the matter is that Planet Earth is moving toward the sixth mass extinction in its history. And this mass extinction is being CAUSED by modern humans. This is not a speculation; it is not a theory. This is a FACT. The hunting of the elephant noted in the referenced article, and the resulting death of the hunting guide, are actually a very tiny story (a microcosm) of a much, much bigger picture. The true question is, “Is it even possible to halt the tsunami of annihilation of which WE (humans) are the perpetrators?!”

 

 

Kathy Phinney

C.E.O Breakdown Safaris

 

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On Safari (Guest Post)

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On Safari (Guest Post)

On Safari with Breakdown Safaris

By: Jane Tyrer

Going ‘on Safari’ is a phrase I have never warmed to; it sounded pretentious and smacked of being controlled by others: ‘experts’ or guides. And besides, it is not a phrase much used in my home countries of southern Africa. Here however, in Tanzania, many people I have met are either ‘on safari’, are safari company owners or safari guides, or are planning to establish a safari business. And it is BIG business in Tanzania. Thank goodness, too, from my perspective, for without safari revenue, the burgeoning Tanzanian population with its attendant cattle and goats and demand for charcoal, would quickly wipe out the wild places with their wonderful animal and plant life.

After several days on the road and ‘wild camping’, I have been resting (read: “indulging”) at the Selous River Camp just outside the magnificent Selous Game Reserve in Southwest Tanzania. Of all the camps I have stayed in during my forty years of living in southern Africa, I cannot recall any one that matches this little piece of heaven. And that is where I met Kathy and Fanuel.

In fact, we met on the camp’s evening boat trip on the ochre-coloured Rufiji River. In between sharing knowledge of the river’s history and wild-life, we became friends and they invited me to join them for supper that balmy evening. Over our three-course meal, eaten by candle light in the camp lapa, we shared life stories, and I was intrigued and excited by the birth and growth of their new safari business: Breakdown Safaris.

Fan is Tanzanian, born and raised in Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria. He is a professional safari guide, well-versed in the natural history of the region and its wildlife, and his enthusiasm for his subject was infectious. Kathy, his wife, is American. In her ‘other life’ as she put it, she was a travel consultant and combined this with her life-time’s nursing experience to specialise in providing travel assistance for the elderly and people with disabilities. These skills, I think, would have combined to make her an adroit lady with logistics. (She was explaining her wrist-watch to me: it has several different faces so that she could manage medication even when crossing time zones.) Kathy is clearly a highly responsible and capable lady, although it was her warm personality which first struck me. She is undoubtedly the sort of lady I felt I could entrust my life to.

Fanuel is arresting to look at. Age? Difficult! Maybe early thirties? His well-groomed dreadlocks sweep back from his high brow to accentuate his finely chiselled facial features, and he has a smile to die for!

The story of their meeting and eventual marriage is the stuff of fairy-tales... Kathy had long wanted to visit Africa, and finally made this wish come true in January and February of 2012. This trip included a visit to Rifuji River Camp in the Selous Game Reserve. Here she met Fanuel, who was her guide on several game drives and boat safaris and particularly, one very special walking safari. Idealistically, they clicked, and together shared dreams of one day owning their own safari business. Who was it, I wonder, who first mooted, ‘well, why don’t we then?’!

From sharing their ideas and planning their implementation, love enhanced their relationship – and now... Well what a complementary partnership! They both want a low-impact business, looking at practical ways of both sharing their views of an interconnected planet and introducing their guests to the wonders of Tanzania: its people, its wild places, and its wildlife.

Sharing a meal and a bottle of wine with them both was a real pleasure and inspired me to write this short introduction to their new safari business: Breakdown Safaris.

Good luck, both of you!

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Company Intention

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Company Intention

Cooperation among living organisms  is at least as prevalent as  competition. Mutual cooperation between life-forms and within natural communities is one of the driving forces of evolution.

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