Killing Of Huge Elephant In Zimbabwe Reignites Controversy Over Trophy Hunters

2D739ACD00000578-3274724-image-a-3_1444938537122We recently followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota. What was most striking was the complete disconnect in how such kills are seen by hunters versus the public at large, as shown by the subsequent controversy of a Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates. A new such controversy has emerged after a German hunter celebrated the killing of one of the largest elephant ever seen In Zimbabwe at the Gonarezhou National Park. The magnificent animal was estimated to be 40 and 60 years old with tusks that almost touch the ground and weigh 120lb. Again, the difference in how this killing is viewed is fascinating. Hunters celebrated the kill while many in the public were appalled that this hunter would pay tens of thousands of dollars to travel to Africa and shot such a beautiful and inspiring animal.

2D739AC500000578-3274724-image-a-2_1444938349661The elephant was shot on October 8th in a hunter who paid $60,000 (£39,000) for a permit to conduct a 21-day game hunt including the Big Five of elephants, leopards, lions, buffalo and rhinoceros. He then proudly posed next to the dead elephant. Many are appalled by the fact that this is considered a triumph to possess an animal by killing it. Some believe that this is the largest elephant killed in decades.

Anthony Kaschula, who operates a photographic safari firm in Gonarezhou, posted pictures of the hunt on Facebook, and objected that “individual elephants such as these should be accorded their true value as a National Heritage and should be off limits to hunting.”

Louis Muller, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters & Guides Association, said the hunter had only realised how large the “tusker” was once he had been shot.

These legal hunts are adding to the decline in elephant populations that have been decimated by poaching and, as discussed recently, cyanide poisoning.

189 thoughts on “Killing Of Huge Elephant In Zimbabwe Reignites Controversy Over Trophy Hunters”


    “According to the quote above from Governor General Walker’s fable book he believes that decisions should be made at the “local level” to protect our “freedoms.” If that is the case then why did Walker just sign into law a bill that takes away all local government control when it comes to bow hunting within city limits?

    A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker will allow bow hunting within city limits.
    Hunters would have to be at least 100 yards from any building when hunting within city limits.Rhinelander Alderperson Alex Young says the law will erase Rhinelander’s city hunt ordinances the city had on the books, like background checks on people hunting in the city.

    “Those restrictions we used to have are off and anybody who has a hunting license can come in and bow hunt,” Young said. “The only thing that you are really allowed to restrict is the distance from neighboring houses.”

    You read that right. First they take over our national forests, then they took over our state parks, now we cannot even have a respite from animal killing WITHIN our own cities. This means that essentially any bow killer with a license can come into our cities and impale deer and other wildlife as long as they are 100 yards from a building. Is it the goal of this regime to eliminate any and all safe havens for wildlife in this state? Mark my words this is just the first step. Next they will be demanding that local governments allow recreational trapping within our cities. So much for the “local decisions” and being against “big government” that the Teahadists always preach.

    While we are on the topic of hypocrisy it should be noted that the “author” of the bill that allowed bow killing in our cities is none other than Joel “Ribeye” Kleefisch. Not only was old Ribeye the “author” and chief cheerleader of this bill, he was also a big supporter of the WOLF KILL BILL that now allows state sanctioned animal fighting in our woods. It also appears that old Ribeye has a brand new title to add to his disgusting resume: convicted wildlife law violator and maybe poacher.”

    1. Inga – why the hell does a city want a background check on a bow hunter?

  2. The Wisconsin DNR is under the control of the Walker administration. Thank goodness this Judge overturned the Wisconsin DNR’s recommendations on open season on wolves in Wisconsin.

    “Wisconsin wildlife officials said that major changes are afoot for wolf hunters after a federal judge’s decision Friday to place Great Lakes gray wolves back on the endangered species list.

    U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s order affects Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The ruling — which could still be overturned or stayed upon appeal — bans further wolf hunting and trapping in those states.

    After the judge’s ruling, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a news release on Friday evening that detailed the implications of the decision. DNR officials said that existing permits allowing the killing of wolves that were issued to landowners are no longer valid. Officials said that they would contact these permit holders to alert them.

    In addition, DNR officials said Wisconsin’s law that allowed private landowners or occupants of that land to shoot wolves that are attacking domestic animals “is no longer in force,” people can’t use dogs to track and train on wolves and state officials are unable to plan a wolf harvest season.

    DNR officials said that while they’re no longer authorized to use “lethal control” as part of the state’s wolf management program, “non-lethal tools” and depredation compensation remain available. They said those experiencing conflicts with wolves should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Service for more information.

    DNR officials said that while they were disappointed by the judge’s decision, they would continue to support USFWS and their original decision to delist the Great Lakes gray wolf. They said they remained confident in the state’s ability to manage the wolf population.”

  3. Lisa,

    “Let’s go to a paper that has twice endorsed Scott Walker, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Only a few days after Walker’s Beloit statements, the Milwaukee paper’s highly touted PolitiFact feature took an in-depth look at the governor’s use of the Philly Fed index.” also endorsed Walker, BTW.

    This is from 2012.

    “We recommend Walker; his removal isn’t justified”

    “It’s time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We’ve had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term. We recommended him in 2010. We see no reason to change that recommendation. We urge voters to support Walker in the June 5 recall election.”

    This Journal Sentinal link is the same one I posted upstream @9:32 AM on Oct. 17th. I guess you didn’t read the article. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal is hardly a “liberal rag”. With all due respect, perhaps you should do your homework before commenting on local papers in Wisconsin.

  4. Karen S

    Does your empathy for wolves extend to foxes, as well? Your comment at 6:47 pm, on 10/17/05, appears to justify the engaging in the blood sport of fox hunting as an indication of one’s ability to be comfortable in all environments and in any element–hailing it as an indication of one’s flexibility to be as comfortable at a fox hunt as one is in a ballroom. Any justification for fox hunting, other than the tired old adage of it being some sacred, southern and ghastly ritual?

  5. Aridog – that’s just so sad. I hear organ music playing whenever I see taxidermy specimens or mounted heads. When I was in Wyoming, I saw the most gorgeous, stuffed huge silver wolf for sale in some shop and just teared up.

    My TA in college studied wolves (lucky woman.) She said when they had trapped a wolf to study, on a trapper’s advice, they would take a forked stick, put it on the wolf’s neck, and the animal would just roll over. She said it worked every time. She said they recorded dens within throwing distance of campsites, with no reports at all of wolf aggression. The dens would be full of shoes and footballs the wolves had given to their pups for chew toys, and the people were none the wiser. It’s just so sad when people shoot wolves. For the most part, there’s just no need. I understand the problem with ranching in predator country, but get donkeys or Anatolian shepherds to at least try other avenues than simply removing the predators.

    1. Karen – do you know why the forked stick works on the neck of the wolf? That is how the mother wolf carries the cubs. The adult will revert to childhood behaviors.

  6. Darren:

    Thanks for retrieving my post, and for the links on snake shot. We get big rattlers out here, and it’s more humane (and safer for our toes) to shoot them than to try to behead the big ones with a blunt shovel. Although, luckily, we only get a few a year. My aunt and uncle get 26 a year where they live.

    1. Karen – it is not against the law to sharpen you shovel if you are snake hunting. 😉

  7. The term Trophy Hunter is self explanatory and, to me, repulsive. What’s next “Trophy Killers” per se…an issue that seems to be rising in the middle east? I don’t have trouble associating with hunters in general, but avoid the “Trophy” variety if I can. I was once a hunter of deer for meat in season, but ceased upon my return from Asia long ago. “Game” that can shoot back changes you perhaps? I still eat meat and hope that the husbanded meat is treated at least as well as what Temple Grandin proposes. A while back I was invited to a family Thanksgiving Dinner, by a friend of Judi’s & mine, and the friend’s father just had to show me his “Trophy” room. In it he had to brag on about a “cinnamon” colored bear he’d shot and had mounted whole and up right….about 4 feet tall or less standing up on the included small pedestal. A big deal, right? I did not have the heart to congratulate him for killing a roughly 6 month old black bear color morph cub. He was just so proud of his “trophy” baby bear.

  8. Nick…I think we lost Jack Bruce and Johnny at about the same time last year.
    Ironically, I’m watching a Clapton concert on PBS now as I type this.

  9. Tom, I would have loved to have seen him perform. I’m jealous. Owned all his and Edgar’s albums.

  10. I’m just glad hunting albino rock guitarists like Edgar and Johnny Winter was never allowed. Love their music.

  11. Hunting albino wildlife in my view is unsportsmanlike. They’re too easy to see and it’s not fair to the animal to shoot it. Where’s the challenge in that? At least give him a chance.

    Plus, they are rare so just let them be.

    1. Darren Smith – I haven’t entered this “Ghost Deer” fray until now. I would think that hunting them would be like hunting antelope, their are fewer of them. so harder to find.

  12. Nick – that’s funny. All I know about Walker is that he opposed the corrupt Big Donor unions that act like the mob. For all I know, he can’t dance and has bad taste in jokes. Who knows? But I do like his position on unions.

  13. Darren – help! My extremely long, rambling post got eating by the Vortex of Doom by Word Mess!

  14. Bam Bam:

    “Because it can be difficult to know the quality of the meat you are eating, going vegetarian is the only way to be absolutely certain that you are not eating poor quality meat. If this is too drastic for you, do your best to purchase meat that has been raised in humane condition. Organic meats from local farmers are best.”

    There has been a rise in buying sides of beef or hog shares from local producers for this very reason. I am friends with someone who raises a small number of hogs every year. She lets them out to graze and forage happily, enjoying natural behaviors. It’s nothing like a feed lot. She says they “have only one bad day.”

    Personally, I cannot go vegetarian. My body does not do well on grain, dairy, or beans. Without those, I literally cannot get enough calories to sustain my body weight or health without consuming meat, fish, and poultry. We evolved to be omnivores, and there’s nothing wrong or evil in eating meat. It’s fine if people want to make a personal choice and become vegetarians or vegan, but they are not holier than the omnivore any more than a lion is holier than a lamb.

    You really have to know what you’re doing to maintain your health on a vegetarian diet, because plants do not have the complete amino acid profile that we need. In our global economy, we now have access to the world bread basket, with options we just didn’t have decades ago. Still, if you look into it, quite a few people damage their healthy by trying to go vegetarian without getting educated on how to get complete nutrition. Heck, people also damage their health by going on Fast Food diets.

    My point is that I support personal choice in how people want to live their lives, but they should not impose their lifestyle on others. The mindset that vegetarians and vegans are holier than thou is destructive and wrong, and antithetical to my “to each their own” philosophy.

    Studies show that 84% of vegetarians go back to eating meat:

    “For the next 17 years, I ate grains, produce, legumes, and fake meat products like those Morningstar bacon strips that have a lower nutritional value than cat food. And for the next 17 years, it seemed like I was always hungry no matter how large my bowl of beans and rice. Even worse than constant hunger, I didn’t seem to enjoy food the way other people did. Eating was a chore, like folding laundry or paying bills, but even more annoying because if I didn’t do it I would die. I was sick of being hungry, I was sick of beans and rice, and so at the age of 31, I have made a decision: I will try and become a meat-eater.”

    And here is a former vegan blogger who returned to being a carnivore because she wrecked her health on veganism. This woman got DEATH THREATS from vegans for her “betrayal” in returning to meat:

    “When I created this blog over a year ago, I identified with being a plant-based vegan. As the months wore on and I learned more about health, the body and dietary labels, I started believing less in the label of “veganism” and more in listening to my body. I ate a cruelty-free plant-based diet because it felt good to me, my body felt nourished and fueled, I experienced no stomach problems, I was eating the most ethical and compassionate diet for animals/the earth, and my mind was clear and content.

    I was vegan, and it worked.

    Then around November my body started telling me things. My roasted veggies and quinoa for dinner were not satisfying me like they once had, and my green smoothies for breakfast were giving me stomach aches and making me feel bloated and overly full. I was shocked! This plant-based lifestyle I had so adored and built my career around was “failing” me… Or so I believed.

    I spent the next several months ignoring my body’s internal cues. I longed to try new things that looked and sounded good to me, but ethically I couldn’t do it. I had done so much research, read so many books, watched so many documentaries and personally connected with so many vegans and those against eating animal protein, and I believed wholeheartedly in the lifestyle. I felt that I knew better than to eat animal protein. I was educated, I had will power, and I loved being vegan.

    That’s what I kept telling myself. And most days, I believed it. Other days, I knew that I was going to have to eat a bowl of veggies the size of a monster truck to fill me up. Some days, I could hardly eat at all because my biochemistry was so thrown off. Some days, I had wild and ravenous sugar cravings that took over my mind and hindered me from focusing on anything else.

    I also started fearing a LOT of things when it came to food. Having grown up with a notoriously sensitive stomach, I already avoided wheat, fried foods, sauces, oil, flour of any type, some legumes and many grains. Then I started reading about raw foods, digestion, food combining, the space at which meals should be eaten apart from each other, and the dangers of even all-natural fructose. (And let’s not forget my bout with 80/10/10 raw veganism.)

    I started living in a bubble of restriction. Entirely vegan, entirely plant-based, entirely gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, flour-free, dressing/sauce-free, etc. and lived my life based off of when I could and could not eat and what I could and could not combine. There is nothing wrong with any of those things (many of them are great, actually!!) but my body didn’t feel GOOD & I wasn’t listening to it.”

  15. Karen, I have many sources in my biz, and I always consider the source before making any decisions. There is Chronic Walker Derangement Disease here in Wisconsin. Here’s the thing, Walker is really not very good but he’s better than anything the hapless Cheeseheads Dems run against him.

  16. Bam Bam:

    Poaching is not managing the herd, no. Plus poisoning animals is so wrong. It’s like putting out land mines for all the scavengers and raptors.

  17. Nick – they’re cuuuuuuuuute! Sure, the ones that live on CWD land might be infected with a wasting disease, but still!

    My point up thread is that although I like the deer, I disagree with the backlash against Walker et al for merely posting the question to voters in Wisconsin what to do with the deer.

  18. Hormones In Animals And Meat Quality
    by Delialah Falcon — over a year ago in Nutrition & Dieting

    Learn how eating the meat of animals that are exposed to stress hormones can have a negative effect on your health.
    There are many different factors that can cause stress in animals. There is no doubt that animals experience fear prior to being slaughtered. Just before terrified animals are slaughtered, they release a host of hormones and toxic substances into their bodies. Why does this matter? Because after the animals have been slaughtered, those hormones remain in their bodies and begin to alter the animal meat. The quality of the meat deteriorates significantly. When you eat the tainted animal meat, you ingest those hormones into your body. Doing so can cause a host of unwanted medical conditions and diseases.

    Animals that are subject to constant light, usually as a result of living in factory farm environments, have a difficult time regulating their sleep cycles. The light prevents them from receiving adequate sleep. When animals are deprived of sleep, over time, they become stressed. Stress in animals also occurs when they are subject to constant noise for machinery and factory farming equipment. Obviously, animals that live in confinement rather than being permitted to roam freely, are subject to an abundance of unnatural living conditions that subject them to repeated stress.

    In addition to an unnatural living environment, every day occurences can cause stress in certain animals. Examples include animals who are excessively tired and fatigued, and those that experience chronic pain, hunger or thirst. Another common stressor is moving the animal from a familiar home environment into unfamiliar surroundings.
    How Do Stress Hormones in Meat Affect Humans?
    Speculation about the negative health effects of consuming meat have been circulating for years. There is a very long list of potential health problems that are associated with the consumption of meat derived from stressed animals. The major health conditions cited by recent studies are conditions that affect the heart. Heart disease is believed to be associated with the consumption of any red meat, regardless of the presence of stress hormones. When you introduce stress hormones and poor quality meat into the equation, you are amplifying the negative effects on the heart.

    Read Severe Allergic Reactions to Meat Become Even More Common

    Additional negative health effects associated with poor quality hormone-laden meat include general fatigue and malaise, impotence, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and diseases that affect the digestive tract. So what are you to do if you want to avoid the negative health effects associated with meat? You only have a few options. For starters, the simplest way to know that you are not consuming poor quality meat is to give up meat altogether.

    Because it can be difficult to know the quality of the meat you are eating, going vegetarian is the only way to be absolutely certain that you are not eating poor quality meat. If this is too drastic for you, do your best to purchase meat that has been raised in humane condition. Organic meats from local farmers are best. If you visit your local butcher, be sure to ask where the meat is acquired from and question the practices used to manufacture the meat.

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