UPDATE: Judge Denies Texas Hunters' Injunction to Suspend Ruling
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
April 3, 2012
Houston- The scimitar-horned oryx was listed as endangered seven years ago, but a special exemption from the federal Endangered Species Act allowed breeders of the rare African antelope to nonetheless sell and hunt the animals -- at $5,500 a head. As a result, herds grew exponentially on exotic hunting ranches nationwide, especially in Texas.
Its horns, sometimes up to 4 feet long, arc gracefully over its back, almost reaching its hindquarters when it lifts its head to sniff the wind. Vast herds of them once roamed the semi-arid plains of North Africa and the Sahel, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
It was named in an inscription on the Egyptian tomb of Sabu of Sakkarah nearly 23 centuries ago, and is thought to be the inspirational template for the unicorn.
Darien, CT-Friends of Animals recently celebrated a victory for scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelles who are routinely bred and killed on hunting ranches here in the United States. These animals, on the brink of extinction in their native homelands in northern Africa, have been the targets of paying trophy hunters seeking a thrill-kill.
The Y.O. Ranch is a Texas legend. It began with a young immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine named Charles Schreiner, who, according to its promotional materials, single-handedly "fought outlaws, Indians, and Mother Nature." Schreiner's descendants still run the cattle ranch, talking up their role in what they call the conservation of Texas Longhorn cattle.
Let's Stop Promoting "Man's Dominion" Over Nonhuman Life
On 9 February 2005, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S. 304) with the short title "The Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2005." Proponents of the bill claim it will "crack down on 'canned hunts,' the abhorrent practice of confining tame, exotic animals in an enclosed space and shooting them at close range."  As Senator Lautenberg has acknowledged, it is important to note what the bill does and does not do.