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Protesters target animal-hunt organizer in Yucatan

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Photo: Facebook / Tankab

Merida, Yucatan — Animal-rights proponents are fighting a Facebook page that invites tourists to fish and hunt “trophy” game in Yucatan.

Red Climática Ecológica Ambiental México (Environmental Climate Mexico Network) accused Tankab Outfitters with catering to foreigner tourists who hunt not just ocellated turkeys, peacocks, but also protected species in Yucatan.

“The Governments of Yucatán and Campeche would be allowing the entry of hunting tourism. (…) The Tankab Outfitters page also mentions other types of animals that they would be hunting on the Yucatan Peninsula such as toucans, deer, jaguars, cougars and many protected and endemic species of the Peninsula,” according to a network statement.

A photo on the Tankab page shows a hunter posing with an ocellated turkey she apparently killed. Other photos show a fawn or young deer that appears to have bullet wounds.

The Facebook page indicates that the company organizes hunting excursions. Its most recent reviews were negative, perhaps a result of the anti-hunting campaign. It’s a typical activist technique to sabotage a businesses’ online ratings to sully their target’s reputation.

The Tankab website was marked “suspended” as of Saturday morning. A May social media posting may explain why.

“Our website has been recently flooding with spam and cyber attacks by the anti-hunters causing our server to crash. We are addressing the situation in the fastest way possible and looking at different options to improve the security of the website and avoid further attacks,” reads the post. “Sorry for the inconvenience and our team will be getting in touch with you by pm for more information in the meantime. We are ready to take you turkey hunting for the world’s most exotic and beautiful trophy bird!!!”

A Change.org petition has gathered over 1,000 signatures to implore the government to end hunting expeditions in Yucatan.

“Tankab Outfitters is a company that offers hunting packages of threatened or endangered species of the Yucatan Peninsula to foreign people, specifically to Americans who want to come to live their safari fantasy but do not have the money to pay a stealth hunter in Africa or get a legal license in that same continent, working with a license that, people worried about the animals of my state, Yucatan, we do not explain how it was obtained; It is said that it was granted by ‘alleged’ friendship with Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal,” reads the petition. It later continues: “As an ethical and socially responsible person, I consider that animals as living beings that they are, must be protected, I would not like our children to know animals only through books and internet articles. Let’s save the animals.”

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