Thousands Expected For Dallas Safari Club Convention

Alan Scaia
January 18, 2019 - 12:51 pm
Dallas Safari Club

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

Categories: 

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Organizers are expecting more than 60,000 people to attend the Dallas Safari Club's annual convention at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas this weekend. The event includes almost a thousand exhibitors.

Dan Cabela runs the Cabela Family Foundation and will speak at this year's convention. The foundation has launched a project called, "24 Lions."

The project aims to reintroduce lions to a part of Africa where they were wiped out because of poaching and civil war. Cabela says 24 Lions is the largest movement of lions across an international border in history.

"In the last 25 years, everything has come back except the lions," he says. "We're basically bringing the lions back to expand the wild lion range in Africa but also to put them back in an ecosystem where they used to be."

Cabela says his work focuses on conservation, but he says responsible hunting can prevent poaching and introducing responsible hunting to other animals has led to an increase in their population. In 1994, he says a thousand buffalo were living in Africa, but that number increased to 20,000 when hunting was adopted as a conservation tool.

Cabela says he understands protesters will gather outside, but he says the convention deals as much with education and conservation as hunting.

"North America is probably the finest conservation on the planet, so we do it very well here. It'd be nice to see other parts of the world catch up," he says. "Really, the North American model is based on ethically regulated hunting."

The lions will not be hunted, but Cabela says he hopes their population will increase ten percent with the move.