A leopard perches in a tree in South Africa's Kruger National Park

(P1) The South African government has imposed a ban on leopard hunts for the 2016 season.

(P2) The decision was driven by science, not emotion. South African Environment Minister Edna Molewa is a vocal ADVOCATE of the hunting industry, which the government estimates contributes 6.2 billion rand ($410 million) annually to Africa’s most advanced economy.

(P3) Leopard is one of five GAME ANIMALS most desired by hunters, along with lion, rhino, buffalo, and elephant.

(P4) The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), a government research organisation, recommended the temporary ban because it said leopard numbers could not be firmly ESTABLISHED.

(P5) “There is uncertainty about the numbers and this is not a permanent ban, but we need more information to guide QUOTAS,” said John Donaldson, SANBI’s director of research.

(P6) Given their SECRETIVE and NOCTURNAL nature, leopards are not easy to count.

(P7) SANBI drew on studies and data from a number of sources.

(P8) The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) says this gives an incomplete picture.

(P9) “There are lots of leopards on private land that were not counted,” said PHASA chief executive Tharia Unwin. She said PHASA was providing the government with leopard data from private lands.

(P10) South Africa has suffered its worst DROUGHT on record. Unwin said this was good for leopard numbers as PREDATORS do well when the rains are poor and the animals that they hunt (such as ANTELOPE) are weakened by lack of water.

(P11) Unwin said it cost up to $20,000 to shoot a leopard and several of PHASA’s members had to REFUND clients who had put down DEPOSITS for leopard hunts. Most of the foreign hunters who come to South Africa for such game are American.

WORDS: 282

SOURCE: http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0WF09V?sp=true


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you understand why people hunt, or is it difficult for you to understand?
  3. Which do you think is OK: hunting for sport; hunting for food only; no hunting at all?
  4. Why are lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos the most popular animals to hunt in South Africa?
  5. Do you ever visit zoos to see the animals?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Game animal

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