Excess Free State wildlife on sale

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Bloemfontein - The Free State will sell some 860 excess wild animals from its nature reserves at its annual game auction this weekend, the provincial environmental affairs department said on Tuesday.

"The game auction is part of the game management plan, which manages game populations," said spokesperson Kgotso Tau.

A total of 865 animals would be sold to the highest bidder during the two-day game auction.

The department said 88 hunting packages would be auctioned off on Friday, consisting of 47 trophy hunts.

Forty-one non-trophy packages including seven buffalo, two sables and four Cape Mountain Zebra would also be sold.

The hunts would take place on eight of the 14 reserves in the province.

The live animal auction, per catalogue, on Saturday included 16 species including 41 disease-free buffalo and 12 Cape Mountain Zebra.

Tau said in helping transformation in the Free State's game industry, the department had so far donated 328 head of animals worth R2.6m to 19 black game farmers.

The provincial government has also trained 30 black professional hunters.

Tau said the Free State game ranching industry was currently the second fastest-growing in South Africa.

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