In all, 81 jumbo had been shot by the time of Peake's report, and the average total tusk weight was 107 pounds. What's interesting about that total tusk weight figure is, it is almost unchanged from previous years. Here is a complete rundown on total average tusk weight since elephant hunting reopened in Botswana in 1996:
1996 - 117 lbs - 33 shot 1997 - 107 lbs - 51 shot 1998 - 105 lbs - 99 shot 1999 - 106 lbs - 112 shot 2000 - 105 lbs - 155 shot 2001 - 112 lbs - 133 shot 2002 - 107 lbs - 131 shot 2003 - 107 lbs - 139 shot 2004 - 107 lbs - 81 shot*
(*as of mid-August)
Clearly elephant hunting in Botswana is not lowering trophy quality, even after nearly a decade of hunting. This is excellent data to use against anti-hunters!
Still in Botswana, there is a bit of news about lion hunting that some may see as a positive sign that hunting will eventually be reopened. Seems what is called the Statutory Instrument banning the killing of Problem Animal Control lions is in the process of being revoked. Livestock farmers are said to be ecstatic because problem lions have been devastating cattle herds since the closure of hunting.
It's anyone guess whether the government will go on to take the logical next step and open lion hunting, but at least one noted conservationist - whose name we are withholding........(continued)