German Man Pays Insane Amount To Kill African Elephant, Internet Goes Crazy
Only three months after the shooting of Cecil the Lion sparked international outrage, Western poachers in Zimbabwe are back in the spotlight again. A German national paid £39,000 ($60,000) to hunt what is thought to be the largest elephant killed in Africa in nearly 30 years. Photos of the October 8 hunt have surfaced over the past few weeks, showing the anonymous hunter and the man who arranged the hunt gloating next to the body of the elephant, who was estimated to be between 40-60 years old.
The elephant was killed near the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, the same country where Cecil the Lion was killed. The identity of the elephant remains a mystery, with conservationists saying that they had never seen him in Gonarezhou before. However, safari guides and conservationists agreed that the elephant was a unique creature who should have been protected for all to see. Others had harsher words for the unnamed German hunter. Comedian Ricky Gervais, who has been a staunch and vocal advocate for animal rights, stated on his Facebook page: “German Hunter pays 40K to kill Africa’s biggest elephant…. Can I pay 40K to knock Germany’s biggest twat’s teeth out?” Unfortunately for Gervais and other animal rights advocates, Zimbabwe’s hunting problem is one that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Anthony Kaschula, a photographic safari firm operator, posted on his Facebook about the incident: “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,” Kaschula wrote. “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.” The man who helped to arrange the hunt, a Zimbabwe native who also chose to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph a much different story. “We hunters have thick skins and we know what the greenies will say. This elephant was probably 60 years old and had spread its seed many, many times over,” he said. “This is good for Zimbabwe and good for local people. It’s not uncommon for hunters to spend $100,000 each trip.” Meanwhile, conservationists are looking for more creative ways to keep animals safe outside of the scope of legislation. In the above photo from 2013, members of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve are seen injecting non-lethal chemicals into rhino horns. The chemicals make humans who consume these rhino horns for “medicinal purpose” incredibly ill, protecting the rhinos from getting killed for their horns. Other practices such as dying the horns and tusks of rhinos and elephants are currently legal in many countries. The dyes are non-toxic and make the ivory worthless to poachers. The pictured elephant is a computer rendering of what this may look like in the wild.
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