In Zambia, where all concession hunting was abruptly closed earlier this year, the silence on the part of everyone is almost eerie. There have been no new announcements at all by the government as to when hunting will be reopened, or which hunting companies will be awarded the country's various concessions. The only glimmer of news is an official statement to the effect that ranch hunting will be allowed this year. Also, we have been told that an announcement will be made very shortly about all those trophies that are being held in Lusaka because they were shot on illegal licenses last year. We have been told that an additional payment will have to be made by someone before the trophies are released. Again, we will post what we learn between newsletter deadlines on the password-protected section of our web site.
Here at The Hunting Report, we have pages and pages of notes about what is "really" happening in Zambia, but most of what we have learned is little more than rumor. Suffice it to say, the closure is rooted in some kind of internal political paralysis that is related to the area-reallocation process and perhaps to the upcoming presidential election. We think it would be counterproductive to air any of the rumors we are hearing. Suffice it to say, we are cautiously optimistic that Zambia's hunting areas will be reallocated this spring, in time to prevent an onslaught of poaching. We think there is an outside chance that at least some hunting will be allowed, too, before the 2001 season comes to end. With that, we will pass on further comment this month about Zambia.