As for Zimbabwe, we are getting the usual questions about stability and safety there. Should you try to hunt there in 2005? Is it safe to do so? Is it ethical to hunt a country where human rights are in decline, where lands have been seized from rightful owners and redistributed? By doing so are we adding fuel to the land-redistribution fire that is threatening to spread to South Africa and Namibia?
All we can do is repeat what we have said in previous years. Barring something unforeseen, we think the 2005 season will be as successful as the one that just passed. And you can read about the 2004 season by ordering all of the subscriber reports we received. All of them, you'll note, were generally positive. As for the ethics of hunting Zimbabwe, we continue to believe that revenue from hunting is essential for the survival of Zimbabwean wildlife. Stop the hunting and the conservation infrastructure there is going to collapse, perhaps causing the permanent elimination of wildlife in Zimbabwe. We vote for continuing to hunt in Zimbabwe, and we recommend that you do so if you can....
Finally, we would not be doing our job if we didn't tell you we have uncovered evidence of irregularities in the shipping of trophies from a country other than South Africa. Continuing subscribers know we have been hitting this subject hard for several months now, urging individual hunters to get more involved in the shipping of their trophies. Our coverage has focused on sweetheart deals between taxidermists and shipping companies and on no-bid freight bills that are way out of line. As a result of our coverage, we believe normal market forces are beginning to work their magic on the cost of getting trophies home from South Africa.
Now, however, evidence is beginning to emerge that there may be........(continued)