Carte Blanche seems to be catering to my every need these days. An interesting episode last night explored the cruel world of leopard poaching. Zulu royalty wear leopard skins as a sign of superiority and power and some politicians in South Africa don the skins for official functions. However the four million Shembe church followers wear them as religious costumes. All of this leads to the increasing trade and extinction of leopards in Africa.
“It’s estimated that there are roughly about 4 000 leopard left in South Africa.
4 000 Leopards; four million Shembe - It’s clear these numbers cannot sustain the demand for skins.” Said Devi Govender, presenter of Carte Blanche.
If this illegal poaching of leopard, rhino, owl, vulture, fauna and flora and many more other animals continues, what will we have left? Africa is a place of wild life and beauty but if we do not stop the trade of our animals, we will be a land of nothing.
This Zulu tradition dates back decades. Again, I respect the culture but it is not a viable tradtion anymore. The leopard in Africa are already endangered and all poaching needs to stop.
I found an interesting blog talking about rhino conservation and other wilf life issues. This was an interesting issue brought up; “Also before being too critical of Zulu leaders wearing leopard skin to preserve their culture and traditions, they’re not the only people to do so. I happened to watch some of the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, there were lots of Indian soldiers marching around many wearing leopard skins over their uniforms. Some British regiments also still wear leopard and even tiger skins in exactly the same way, as can be seen at events like the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I don’t know about the Indian Army but as far as the British Army is concerned the skins are all old or artificial, unlike the bearskin hats worn by guardsmen which so upset animal rights campaigners but that’s another issue.
One place where wearing big cat fur as part of so say traditional costume is (or hopefully was) a real problem is Tibet”