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Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015

The lowland bongo numbers are very concerning but numbers for mountain bongo are downright frightening. Because of the political, social and economic challenges for areas considered original prime bongo habitat in Africa – creative and even seemingly controversial ways are necessary to proliferate bongo in responsible habitat in not only the U.S. but in other areas of the world. Texas ranchers, hunters and conservationist have pretty much taken the lead with creating source population herds with the plan to increase their numbers and eventually repopulate Africa from U.S. stock once the habitat is secure and proliferation more likely. Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund (BF&WCF) recognizes the fragile situation of bongo, as well as other endangered species and that is why we successfully created and implemented the first ever “Catch and Release Bongo Hunt for Conservation.” This type of hunt is uniquely designed to safely capture and not kill animals, when there is already a need for sedation in order to conduct medical and scientific testing, examination, etc. Equally important is our desire to provide donors an authentic hunting adventure, a “hands on conservation experience” and generate much needed funding for threatened, endangered, and even technically “extinctin the-wild” species. BF&WCF offered the first-of-its-kind fundraiser on our website BisbeesConservationFund.org in early January 2015 with a minimum bid of $20,000. Mr. Chip Wagner of Fort Worth, Texas stepped up to the plate and won the on-line auction for $23,000 and was congratulated February 2, 2015, the day after the contest, by the Bisbee staff. Chip later commented “this is like a fundraiser on the hoof – I get a great hunt for an incredible animal, and I get to be a conservationist and philanthropist all at the same time and will have a hell of a time doing it.” “It’s a win-win-win for everybody and every thing – there’s no downside”. Chip arrived mid afternoon February 16, 2015 at the Morani River Conservation Ranch in Uvalde, Texas, - a 3,000 acre managed high fence ranch along the Nueces River where the lush Texas hill country meets rocky South Texas. Keith Warren, TV Host of “The High Road” and his staff were waiting for him at the lodge for interviews and perhaps some scouting and prime light b-roll footage prior to the hunt. Keith and I had just finished our interviews and were discussing how similar African bush was to the habitat in this area, when Chip and Wayne Bisbee (founder of BF&WCF) drove up. continued BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q2 • 2015 09


Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015
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