The above list is a very generous one, and it is sufficient for any man, in fact it will seldom be found necessary to shoot the full numbers allowed, unless a man is doing little else than travelling about the country.
Carnivorous animals, such as lion, leopard, hyaenas, wild dogs, cats of various varieties, otter, and all birds excepting egrets can be shot in any quantity, and all that is required for shooting them is the ordinary gun licence necessary for permission to carry a weapon of any kind.
It is probable that the game laws of the above territory may be changed to make them similar to the country known as North-Western Rhodesia, but this, I think, would be a mistake, for North-Eastern is not so often visited by sportsmen as no railway touches the country.
At present I believe that the game laws are as follows:
Four elephant (ivory not less than 1 lib. weight for each tusk).
Four gnu (wildebeest).
Three zebra (males only).
Eland and all other game, except giraffe and other animals and birds which are protected.
The taking out of a £25 licence includes the ordinary charge of 10s. for a gun licence.
Hippopotamus (six only).
There seems to be no limit of the animals mentioned, except the hippo, of which six are allowed.
As in Nyasaland, all carnivorous animals and other small mammals can be shot, and the same applies to birds, except those specially protected.
It will be noticed that eland, zebra, and gnu can only be shot under the £25 licence.
North-Eastern Rhodesia is a vast territory, teeming with game in places ; and, both there and in Nyasaland, there are hundreds of square miles that have hardly been traversed by white men, and the game is as numerous at the present time as it was before Europeans settled in the country.
It always pays to break into new country and get away from the ordinary beaten tracks that have been much shot in, although even in country that has been well hunted, game will often be found in abundance.
The animals are difficult to drive out of country they like, and if they should be frightened and driven away, their homing instincts soon bring them back again.
The "sportsman's" licence here costs rupees 750 (£50) and it allows of a large variety of game to be shot, though many of them belong to insignificant species producing poor trophies.
A resident pays rupees 150, a traveller's licence costs rupees 15, and a landholder's licence is rupees 45.
Here is a list of the Game Ordinance of 1909 and the game allowed :
Hippopotamus (with restrictions as to district)
Eland ( „ „ " )
Waterbuck (of each species)
Sable antelope (male) ...
Roan antelope (male) (with restrictions)
Greater kudu ( " ) ( " )
Lesser kudu ( " ) ( " )
" (in Jubaland, Tanaland, and Loita Plains)
Neumann's hartebeest (with restrictions)
Grant's gazelle (four varieties of each)
Waller's gazelle (Gerunuk)
Suni (Nesotragns moschatus)
Colobi monkeys of each species
Egret of each species
If the different varieties of Grant's gazelle and water-uck are included this would bring the total up a little.
Of course much of the game given is very localised, and without a long residence in the country it would be impossible to get specimens of all the species given in this list.
With regard to elephant a special licence of rupees 150 is required to shoot one elephant, and the tusks must not weigh under 301b. each. To kill two elephants the charge is rupees 450.
For permission to kill one bull giraffe the licence costs rupees 150, and certain districts are prescribed.
Certainly no sportsman can complain about the limits enforced; but it is not the true sportsmen who do the damage to the game of British East Africa, but the unprincipled whites who get far from civilisation and slaughter the game. In a former chapter I have mentioned the damage the Boers do, and as that country now teems with men of that race it can easily be imagined how the game suffers.
There is only one way to prevent poaching, and that is to have sufficient game rangers to patrol the country in parties of from two to four men with full powers to apprehend and bring before the game warden the poachers who are caught redhanded.
One man is useless, as a witness is necessary, and such game rangers should be given the power to resist force by the use of firearms.
I admire the Boers as a fine, manly race, and I suppose most people do ; but they are not sportsmen in a true sense, and they only slaughter game for the sake of the hides and an occasional fine head which they keep to sell.
The first thing to do is stop the exportation of hides and game trophies unless they have been shot under licences.
In German East Africa the decimation of the game has already reached a serious state, and I take the liberty of quoting an article which appeared in the Field of January 6, 1912. It reads as follows:
Our Berlin contemporary Naturimssenscha fliche Wochenschrift of December 17 (1911) devotes two articles—one by Professor Fritz Bein and the other by Professor C. G. Schillings, to the appalling slaughter of big game which is now taking place in German East Africa, and the urgent need of prohibitive legislation in order that a remnant of the fauna may be saved.
Game reserves like those which have been established with such marked success in British East Africa, as well as restrictions on the number of head of game shot by individual sportsmen, and likewise regulations prohibiting the export of undersized ivory and trophies and skins for commercial purposes are apparently wanting in the adjacent German Protectorate, and it is to the lack of these that Professor Bein, who has lately returned from a tour in German East Africa, attributes in a great measure the rapid destruction of the fauna, which he designates a scandal to civilisation and a heartrending disgrace to the German Empire.