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Hunters Take Advantage of Sudan’s Transitional State

Sudanese conservationists have accused trophy hunters of exploiting the country’s political transition to hunt the country’s unprotected rare animals. Photographs posted online of westerners posing with the body of a rare Nubian ibex angered Sudanese wildlife campaigners this week. They called for Facebook to remove the pages of tour groups promoting such hunts. While wildlife hunters have long come from the Gulf, Abubakr Mohammad, a biodiversity researcher, has seen a recent trend for western trophy hunters to come too, which he said could be a result of the country being more open to outsiders since the removal of Omar al-Bashir, the former president. Permits for hunting are being given out without sufficient scrutiny, says campaigners. The Nubian ibex is considered extremely rare in Sudan and its population is classified as vulnerable and in decline, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Hunt Geo, which is based in Austria and promotes hunting trips around the world, released a YouTube video in December of what it said was the first hunt in Sudan in 10 years, since the secession of South Sudan. Hunt Geo posted photographs online of its customers posing with the Nubian ibex. The photos were also shared by Kush Armaments, a Sudanese company that attracted Mohammad’s attention because he noticed it shared his posts about wildlife spots in Sudan. He feared it was then hunting in those areas.