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HUNTING IN PENDJARI

May 13, 2010

On Day 6 of our shoot in Africa, Etienne, Bruno and I went to visit a hunting camp which is part of the sustainable initiatives put in place on the Reserve of Pendjari.

You have to understand that while no one lives on the reserve (to protect vegetable and animal life), there are controlled zones on the outskirts of the reserve where agriculture and hunting are allowed. On the outskirts of those  zones are the actual villages where people live. So…

That morning we all grabbed our equipment and headed to one of the hunting camp, to talk to hunters and villagers and see how the hunting safaris functioned and benefited the community. The minute we started taking the cameras out of the vehicule, loud sirens echoed afar. One of the villagers quickly explained to me that the sirens were announcing a group of tourists who were arriving from a successful hunt.

By the time I fetched my camera out of my bag, the two European hunters who had killed the buffalo had proceeded to drinking a cold beer, so before interviewing them, I decided to film the locals who took care of taking the animal out of the truck in order to  proceed with the weighing and measuring.

(There is blood and a dead animal in this video. So you know. Also, if you don’t speak French, feel free to jump to the one minute mark. I’m basically explaining in French what’s written in this post)

I have never been a big fan of hunting. In fact, I still don’t consider it a sport, but that is all a matter of perspective. You might remember me mentioning the hunting was a sustainable initiative. The reason for that is mainly because the meat of the safari hunts is redistributed amongst villagers.

The hunting zones are also managed by the associations of villagers, who directly contribute and look out for the well-being of their habitat.

Surprisingly, my biggest shock experiencing this at 8 in the morning was not it didn’t gross me out at all. Here are some pics.

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