Sotheby's, the London auctioneers more used to dealing with antiques and works of art, conducted their first sale of wild animals last week (19 July).
Sotheby's, the London auctioneers more used to dealing with antiques and works of art, conducted their first sale of wild animals last week (19 July). Game rangers, farmers and even butchers went to Vereeniging in South Africa for the unique occasion.
SYNOPSIS: A motley collection of more than twenty species of game were waiting to come under Sotheby's hammer in what was believed to be the largest game sale ever to be held in Africa.
About forty Eland were to be sold -- in eight lots, each comprising one male and four females. Other lots were made up of an assortment of wildduck, giraffes, eighteen ostrich, zebras, buffalo -- and even the odd gun.
The deer attracted most interest, and various types of buck were in fact taken up cheap at around one hundred rand (118 US dollars) for a bunch of eight or ten. One bidder spent more than twelve thousand rand (13,000 dollars) on 59 deer. He said game farm where he organises shooting trips.
And that was the fate of most animals. Most of the game was bought for safari parks and game farms, where tourists will have a chance to hunt and shoot them later.
The giraffes towered over all other bids, one magnificent male fetched on thousand and fifty rand (1,240 dollars). And Sotheby's were pleased with the sale. The auction brought in some 115 thousand rand (136,000 dollars). Sotheby's director lord Westmorland said this would be the first of a series of wild game sales, and -- he added - "I think we will be back next year".
In the foreword to Sotheby's auction catalogue, South Africa's Minister for Agriculture Hendrik Schoeman commended Sotheby's for their promotion of the South African wine industry through their annual sale in the Western Cape and hoped that Sotheby's would make a similar contribution to the promotion of game farming.
The size of south Africa's livestock has stagnated during the past few years, yet the country's economy is still heavily dependent on agriculture. About a quarter of the nation's workforce is engaged in this sector of the economy, which represents by far the largest group in South Africa's workforce.