Thankfully, that does not appear to be the case, as the three developments listed above are completely unrelated. More important, there is reason to hope that all three developments will be reversed in the near future, leaving the overall hunting picture in southern Africa essentially unchanged.
Take the lion closure in Botswana first. No matter what you may have heard, the closure was not a victory for anti-hunters. The government closed lion hunting because of an internal political dispute arising from its recent success in restoring lion populations. Seems the country's lion population has grown so much in recent years that lions have become serious predators on cattle, which has inspired local people to begin killing large numbers of them. Rather than recognizing this increased mortality as a sign of its success in restoring lions, the government became alarmed at the number of cats being killed and imposed a ban on the killing of lions (and cheetahs) by citizens of Botswana. Not surprisingly, that outraged villagers, who called it "racially discriminatory" that international safari clients could still kill lions when they couldn't. To get off the horns of a dilemma it had created, the government simply closed safari hunting for lions.
There is, of course, an element of absurdity in the government's move. To combat a problem caused by burgeoning lion populations, it has reduced (in fact, theoretically eliminated) the harvest of lions. At this writing, everyone is tip-toeing around the issue because of the serious implications of using the "r" word ("racialism") anywhere in Africa. Clearly, though, the way out of the problem is not just the reopening of lion hunting, but an expansion of lion hunting. One solution being talked........(continued)