South African researchers said that wildlife farming in the country was seven times more profitable and sustainable than the traditional cattle farming. That’s explains the increased number of investors engaging in the practice of extensive ranching, breeding, and selling game species such as Cape buffalo, wildebeest, oryx, impala, and many more.
In 2013 a total of 23 963 wild animals were sold at the 67 official SA game auctions generating over $100 million in total turnover — the highest official sales in the nation’s history. Measured in terms of turnover, the wildlife industry in the country has grown at an average rate of 20 percent a year over the past 15 years.
South Africa has more than 10 000 commercial wildlife ranches occupying 17 percent of the country’s land. Half are located in Limpopo, a further 20 percent in the Northern Cape and 12 percent in the Eastern Cape.
Breeding and selling of wildlife is considered controversial in most part of the western world particularly in North America due to the unethical game hunting practiced by some of the ranches. The practice is however long-established in South Africa as a means to provide a livelihood for private landowners and as a wildlife management strategy.