A German hunter paid $60,000 (nearly £40,000) to shoot one of the largest elephants ever seen in Zimbabwe.
It’s as if folks missed the news that within ten years, the African Elephant is likely to become extinct. Or, at least that’s the only explanation this author can surmise, for what else could allow one – or a hunting community around the world – to believe that stalking and killing a majestic elephant in Africa is okay?
As The Telegraph reports, a German hunter reportedly paid $60,000 to shoot and kill one of the largest elephants ever spotted in Zimbabwe. The bull elephant, who was estimated to be between 40 and 60 years old and carried 122 lb. tusks, is believed to be the biggest elephant shot in recent memory when it was gunned down earlier this month in Gonarezhou National Park in southwest Zimbabwe.
Similar to Cecil the Lion’s death, which happened only three short months ago, this disturbing news has shocked animal rights advocates and conservationists around the world. The hunter has yet to be identified, but he reportedly paid $60,000 for a permit to shoot the large elephant on a 21-day game hunt, along with leopards, lions, buffalo, and rhinoceros. According to the news source, he was accompanied by a local.
If that’s not enough to sour your appetite, the kill is reportedly being celebrated by the hunting community around the world.
“We have no control over poaching but we do have control over hunting policy that should acknowledge that animals such as this one are of far more value alive (to both hunters and non-hunters) than dead,” wrote Anthony Kaschula, an outraged employee of a photographic safari firm in Gonarezhou, on Facebook. “Individual elephants such as these should be accorded their true value as a National Heritage and should be off limits to hunting. In this case, we have collectively failed to ensure that legislation is not in place to help safeguard such magnificent animals.”
We appreciate Ricky Gervais’ expressed outrage on Twitter: “Can I pay 40K to knock Germany’s biggest twat’s teeth out?”
Despite policies being made in the U.S. and China to end the illegal ivory trade, little progress is being made to completely ban hunting in Africa, it seems. The Telegraph does report that Zimbabwe National Parks have called for stiffer penalties for poachers following the discovery (earlier this week) of 26 more elephant carcasses that died of cyanide poisoning at two different locations in the Hwange National Parke… But is enough preventative action being taken?
Some argue that the money generated by the gaming industry is beneficial for animal conservation in the area, and that banning hunting outright would cause more problems.
Said Kelly Marnewick, manager of an Endangered Wildlife Trust, in August:
“By imposing complete bans I think we leave conservation in a very, very precarious situation, because you are removing sources of income from some areas where they are unreplaceable. And if we cannot fund our conservation work unfortunately we cannot have conservation.”
It’s a very debatable and emotional topic. Comment your thoughts below and share this news!
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