The Calgary Zoo is under questioning as to why they agreed to host a fundraiser in April 2016 with the Calgary Chapter of Safari Club International, a hunting group, According to Global news.The Fundraiser will include a Safari that lasts for 10-days in Africa and the chance to hunt 23 different species, such as impalas, gazelles and leopards.
The hunting group is said to have connections to the American dentist, Walter Palmer, who killed Cecil the Lion.
Officials with Safari Club International say “those who intentionally take wildlife illegally should be prosecuted and punished to the maximum extent allowed by law,” according to CTV news.
Currently, Safari Club International has suspended Walter Palmer’s membership and his hunting guide pending on the results of an investigation.
Michael Alvarez-Toye of the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition questions the zoo’s acceptance of renting its property to groups that promote the killing of wildlife, reports CTV.
In response, a zoo representative says that the money from the facility rentals provides a large portion of the Calgary Zoo’s annual revenue.
“The Calgary Zoo does not have a relationship with Safari Club International. We are renting space in one of our venues to the Calgary Chapter of Safari Club International for their yearly fundraiser. As a public facility, we are open to all walks of life, industries, religions, and cultures; we do not discriminate against who can rent or attend events at our facilities,” the representative tells Global News.
In light of the situation that the Calgary Zoo and Safari Club International are facing by the death of Cecil the lion, the United Nations General Assembly is adopting its first ever resolution for illegal animal trafficking.
All member countries are urged to take steps to combat, prevent and eradicate wildlife crime but the resolution for illegal animal trafficking is non-binding.