Safari Club International (SCI) Arizona chapter has 205 members and a self-described “extensive partnership” with Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). AZGFD is heavily funded by trophy hunters who kill mountain lions and bobcats to be stuffed, turned into rugs, or have their fur sold at auction where they end up in overseas markets. Considering the vast majority of the public doesn’t hunt but does enjoy witnessing wildlife in nature, this significant percentage of the population wants a say in how wildlife is treated and habitats are safeguarded. The hunting community squawks that it’s about “science”; the opposition is diminished as “emotional.” Just witness the giddiness of predatory Arizona hunters felling a lion from a tree, choking to death a trapped bobcat so as not to ruin the pelt, or sharing high-fives after calling a curious bobcat with a distressed cottontail decoy and gunning him down. So emotional! AZGFD says it “scientifically” manages wildlife under the North American Model, yet wildlife ecologists and environmental ethicists from Michigan Technological University and Michigan State University call the Model seriously flawed, stating that since the 1960s conservation efforts have been led by nonhunters and nature enthusiasts. The scientists also questioned the Model’s precept that science is the basis for wildlife protection, saying “Scientific facts about nature cannot, by themselves, determine how we ought to relate to nature or which policies are most appropriate.”Please sign the Arizonans for Wildlife petition to ban the trophy hunting of wild cats. Let’s protect these magnificent creatures!

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