A great deal of the wealthy hardcore trophy hunters are part of SCI – Safari Club International, which presents itself as being an organisation of conservationists and ethical hunters. We regard this as an insult to conservationists and in regards to ethical hunters, there needs to be a clear definition that separates the two. Those who hunt ethically for food versus those who kill for pleasure.
Regardless of what they want to portray themselves as, here is the truth about SCI – Safari Club International. Shunted by SCI after the illegal killing of Cecil, Walter James Palmer is no outcast when it comes to SCI’s code of “ethics”: he actually exemplifies it.
- SCI – Safari Club International was founded by a poacher
SCI – Safari Club International was founded by trophy hunter C.J. McElroy. McElroy hunted in nearly fifty countries, on six continents. He killed nearly 400 trophy animals that appear in SCI’s record book, including animals that are now endangered and can no longer be hunted. McElroy was forced to resign in 1988. Bill Quimby, a past President of SCI, writes in his book “Safari Club International” that there were rumors among hunters that McElroy “ignored hunting laws,” that McElroy was even accused of killing a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram in a national park, and that his “ideas of sportsmanship and ethics simply were different from those of hunters who came along later.”
How can an organization founded by a poacher be ‘for conservation’?
2. They accept admitted poachers and acknowledge their kills as trophies
One of their greatest benefactors is Ken Behring. Ken Behring was a former president of SCI – Safari Club International and was at one time its largest donor. He has made multiple safari trips to East Africa, and has shot lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, an elephant, and an endangered bighorn sheep.
In 1997, Behring shot an endangered Kara Tau argali sheep in Kazakhstan (only 100 remained in the world at the time). Behring claimed he had permits to shoot the sheep and had Russian scientists in his hunting party; he was issued export permits two days before the enactment of a prior international decision to move Kara Tau argali to the most-endangered status. Per American law, the remains of the endangered animal could not be legally imported into the United States. Behring donated $20 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History six weeks later, offering his private collection of stuffed hunting trophies to the museum, including four rare bighorn sheep, one of which was the Kara Tau argali sheep. The Smithsonian attempted to import the remains by petitioning the Department of the Interior for an Endangered Species Act waiver, but withdrew its request after questioning and negative publicity from Representative George Miller and groups like the Humane Society of the United States.
Several top SCI leaders, including SCI member Kenneth Behring and then-president Alfred Donau, went on a wildlife killing spree in Mozambique. They left animals wounded and dying and shot five elephants in clear violation of Mozambique law. The hunting of elephants was strictly forbidden in that country in 1990. Mozambican wildlife officials believed that the group had come “to survey investment opportunities” in Cabo Delgado province. The group was given a permit by the governor to shoot a lion, a leopard and a buffalo; a local wildlife official also added a note referring to “problem elephants,” the only exception to the national ban on the killing of elephants. According to Arlito Cuco, head of Mozambique’s wildlife service, a federal investigation showed that the hunt was illegal because it did not target problem elephants, and that two of the elephant tusks had gone missing. Local investigators also reported that the group used a helicopter during the hunt, which “drove the elephants onto their guns”. According to the New York Times, Behring’s spokesperson “sent a reporter a copy of a $5,000 check, dated six weeks after the hunt and made out to the provincial government with the notation ‘elephant permit.'” The then-director of the game reserve near where the elephants had been killed was skeptical, telling ABC News PrimeTime “They came in there and bankrolled an operation to take out some big elephant, and it is wrong. And nobody, nobody can condone what happened.”
All of Ken Behring’s 300 SCI trophy records remain on their books, including 109 animals killed on captive hunting ranches (Canned Hunting – shooting animals raised solely to be shot in an enclosed area which they cannot escape).
Another nefarious member of SCI is Dan Duncan; he was investigated by a U.S. federal grand jury in 2007 for violating the Lacy Act when he illegally shot a moose and a wild sheep from a helicopter while hunting in Russia in 2002, then imported the trophies into the U.S. According to the Houston Chronicle, Duncan appeared before a federal grand jury panel and admitted that he had shot the animals from a helicopter.
Duncan has more than 400 record book entries, including endangered species and animals killed on captive hunts. The facts are that between these two men they have 700 records that remain in the SCI’s record books. This clearly shows that SCI – Safari Club International is not in the least concerned by poaching and other unethical conduct.
3. They tolerate unethical hunting practices
SCI – Safari Club International accepts animals killed on captive hunts for inclusion in its record books. Captive or “canned” hunts are staged on game ranches where animals—sometimes exotic, tame species obtained from zoos and roadside circuses, are shot within fenced enclosures.
Captive hunting is opposed by many hunters and hunting organizations. The Pope and Young Club and the Boone and Crockett Club both refuse to accept animals killed on captive hunts for inclusion in their record books. Others, such as the Orion Hunters’ Institute and the American Hunters and Shooters Association, criticize the practice as unsporting.
SCI – Safari Club International is so bad that the organization is condemned by some of the other hunting organizations.
4. They hunt endangered species
In addition to the game taken by Messrs. Behring and Duncan, their leadership ranks (as of 2008) are rife with unethical hunters.
President Ralph S. Cunningham has more than 200 entries in SCI’s trophy record book, including more than 20 animals killed on captive hunting ranches and several endangered species.
Dennis Anderson, SCI’s President-Elect, has almost 100 entries in SCI’s record book, including animals shot in pens, endangered species, the “African Big 5” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and a polar bear.
Vice President Lawrence Rudolph has almost 200 entries, including at least 16 animals killed on captive hunting ranches. He also killed the “African Big 5” and a polar bear.
5. They endorse safari organizers that engage in unethical hunting practices
‘The last male lion of Bumi is killed by a hunter’ http://blog.getaway.co.za/…/a…/male-lion-bumi-killed-hunter/
The professional hunter, his trackers, and game scouts from the local authority hung a chunk of hippo meat in a tree that overhangs the Nyamasango River at a point where the gently sloping banks provide a perfect crossing point for all forms of wildlife. This controversial practice of baiting or luring carnivores, especially big cats, to a place where the hunters are waiting in ambush, with the use of meat, has been used in hunting circles for centuries, especially in the rugged terrain of Southern Africa. Mandebvu, tragically, decided on that fateful day that a free meal was too irresistible to pass up, and was shot dead on the very border that anti-poaching scouts have worked on, tirelessly, for months in an attempt to safeguard it from the threat of subsistence poachers and their wire snares. It is sadly ironic that after all the hard work that has been put in to making this area safe for animals to live in, it is now even less safe, as this professional outfit has recognized how much game has moved back into the area and are conducting much of their hunting there.
The safari organization that organized this hunt is the outfitter is registered with Safari Club International (SCI).
6. They do NOT promote conservation
SCI members continue to hunt lions, and reward members for hunting lions. However, two studies have identified big game hunting as the leading cause of plummeting lion populations.
National Geographic: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/02/133999157/without-intervention-lions-heading-for-extinction
University of Minnesota: http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2009/UR_CONTENT_120702.html
Today we don’t punish poaching members of SCI – Safari Club International for their illegal killings. As you can see by the image below, our government, in this case the man in charge of protecting our wildlife and investigating Walter Palmer’s killing of Cecil the Lion, US Fish and Wildlife Director, Dan Ashe, embraces SCI’s elite.
Dan Ashe US Fish and Wildlife Director with SCI – Safari Club International executives (PHOTO FROM SCI)
In July of 2014, Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was quoted telling a small group at a round table discussion that he sees a “giant clash” between those who favor conservation and those who favor economic development and that he believes that conservationists “must accept a world with fewer wolves, salmon, and spotted owls.” The Director of the very agency most responsible for protecting the nation’s biodiversity went on to say that, in the name of compromise, we must accept “a world with less biodiversity.”
Note that economic development is actually the blind mass killing of wildlife to protect agriculture and allow a handful of unethical hunters to go on a killing spree. Maybe it’s time we evolved in our economic goals to compete with High Tech Nations versus cavemen. Investing in our Natural Heritage is an investment for the future.
Here’s what Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) had to say about SCI – Safari Club International and Walter James Palmer
“He picked the wrong lion”
“Palmer’s arrogance has caused the story of Cecil the lion to go viral,” Watson assessed. “He picked the wrong lion, took the wrong actions and cowardly tossed his guides under the bus. Safari Club International has already recognized the danger Palmer has placed [trophy hunters] in. They in turn tossed him under the bus and cancelled his membership and since then have been preparing themselves to defend their vile and bloody enterprise from the wrath of the public.
“Walter Palmer has now been deservedly immortalized as the most vile and despicable hunter of all time, but history may look on him a slight bit more favorably if his actions bring down Safari Club International like Stephenson brought down the Klu Klux Klan.”
Today SCI – Safari Club International advertises itself as a Social and Political group. They lobby industries and government for the right to kill for pleasure. Much of their work is hypocritical, masquerading as Hunters and Conservationists. In this video you can see what happens when 55,000 Wealthy Safari Club Members lobby our Government to gain access to federal lands and destroy our Natural Heritage. Our Second Amendment Rights have nothing to do with destroying Wildlife, it’s about protecting America.
Wealthy Trophy Hunters lobbying our Government through SCI – Safari Club International are responsible for pushing through socially and morally repugnant misguided pieces of legislation like the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015 and the S.405, Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015
Together we can get Justice for Cecil, Justice for Wildlife by bringing back dignity to our Nation and its flag so illfully tarnished by the likes of SCI members. We need to stop this insult to our democratic process and stop SCI’s Self Serving Lobbying in our Nation’s Capital.
Things We can Do to protect wildlife:
Sign Petition that get the Cecil Act into Law to protect wildlife and severely impact the import of Animal Trophies
Sign Petitions to Stop the Bipartisan Sportsmen bill and Share Act Together these bills will gut away at our Endangerred Species Act and have a severe impact on Wildlife and Habitat.
Petitioning Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen Justice for Cecil! Revoke the 501(c) (4) status of Safari Club International and the 501 (c) (3) status of the Safari Club International Foundation
Find your federal, state and local legislators and write letters, emails and TWEET to encourage wildlife preservation, Put the Cecil Act into Law and defeat the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015 and the S.405, Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015
FIND YOUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES (Local – State – Federal)
References : http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/opposition/facts/safari_club_faq.html : https://www.facebook.com/captpaulwatson/posts/10153393430140932 : https://www.facebook.com/huntersaretotalscumbags?fref=ts&_ft_