Zambian Sable Antelope Sells For $1.96 Million At A South African Auction.
A Zambian sable antelope bull was sold for 27 million rand ($1.96 million), more than double the previous record , at a game auction in northern South Africa.
“The animal, known as Mopanie, is four and a half years old and has curved horns of 48 inches (1.2 meters. The bull was bought by a game farmer from Letsitele, 445 kilometers northeast of Johannesburg. The sale of a second animal, named Deuce, for 21 million rand also broke the record for a sable bull of 12.25 million rand”, wrote Bloomberg.
In November 2009, Africa Geography published a notice warning of the illegal importation of Sable antelope Hippotragus niger, most likely the subspecies H. n. Kirkil, from Zambia and Malawi into South Africa. With a number of wildlife breeders reputed to be involved, there were murmuring of animals being smuggled, some bound by their feet, across international boundaries in light aircraft using unregistered airstrips and via road shipments through small or remote border posts.
And recently Zambian Government seized an aircraft believed to have been used by 7 foreign nationals(6 South Africans and a Zimbabwean) for the attempted smuggling of 12 Sable Antelopes to South Africa. (Watch video below)
If the smuggle was a success, they would have auctioned the 12 Zambian Sable Antelopes for over $1 million each.
Driven by growing demand from international hunters for exotic and large-horned animals, South Africa’s game ranching industry is valued at close to 12 billion rand a year and is growing at about 10 per cent annually, according to Barclays Africa Ltd.
Unfortunately, Sable Antelopes are being smuggled from Zambia and soon they will seize to exist because there are only less than 190 of them left.