Video Captures The Thrill Killing of an Elephant . . . And A Herd Charging The Trophy Hunters

As many on this blog know, I am no fan of trophy hunting.  I fail to see why it is impressive or thrilling to shoot a giraffe or elephant with a high-powered rifle.    I just do not understand the thrill kill.  I often hike in remote areas to observe wild game.  It is thrilling to see them in their natural habitat. However, some people want to enjoy killing such animals.  The video below captures why some of us simply do not understand the joy of killing such animals. In the video, hunters sneak up on elephants in Nakabolelwa Conservancy in Namibia to kill an elephant.  One excitedly encourages his friend to shoot the elephant between the eyes.  They then shoot the animal and run away when the herd chases them.We previously 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 and other such hunts (here and here and here and here).

It is chilling to hear the large elephant being referenced as little more than a target and thrilling at the thought of getting to shoot it in the head.


I get the use of this money by locals, including funding park operations. However, it is unnerving to hear the detachment and enjoyment in killing these animals as if it represents an accomplishment to shoot and elephant in the head.

49 thoughts on “Video Captures The Thrill Killing of an Elephant . . . And A Herd Charging The Trophy Hunters”

  1. Please come to Austin and shoot some of our deer. Just don’t move here. Deer and new residents are what we have too many of.

  2. I got my first pheasant of the season Saturday afternoon. It currently resides in my freezer.

    1. i had four solid shots on birds last fall and somehow whiffed each one. fun, anyways

  3. Since this is a herd with young, it is made up of females, calves, and juveniles. Any adult they shot would be a cow. It’s the matriarch and the older females who lead the herd to water and good grazing. These are learned behaviors, not instinct. When hunters take out an adult in a family group, they could take out the elder leading female, the experienced brains of the operation, or one of the mothers. Either can have a severe impact on the entire herd.

    I am a firm supporter of subsistence hunting. Chronic Wasting Disease is on the event horizon, and God help us if it transmits to cattle. The prions last for years in the grass. But other than that, hunting puts food on the table.

    I’ve never understood trophy hunting, especially when the hunters pay trackers to get them close to their target. There is not the same skill involved as hunting, field dressing, and packing out your own meat. Trophy hunting often seems like thrill seekers paying locals big bucks to make it easy for them to bag a trophy.

    I’d much rather shoot a wild animal with a camera.

    There are lots of arguments for trophy hunting. It’s legal. It pumps significant money into the economy and conservation programs. It creates jobs. Also, mankind tends to upset the natural balance of predator and prey, which means that sometimes there can be overpopulation of a species. At times, when the numbers need to be culled, they sell access to them to trophy hunters. There is also the argument that ecotourism might be able to replace the money from trophy hunters. That may be true in the more accessible locations.

    I will always consider trophy and subsistence hunting to be two very different things.

    1. when i was little we used to shoot crows for fun. farmers gave us free ammo.

      i want to protect wilderness, conserve wildlife and endangered species, but i am a part of nature myself and as an apex predator, i get a thrill from the stalk and kill.

  4. Off topic, except that the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have It.

    Notes on Global Convergence
    (Wonkish and Off-Point)
    Paul Krugman
    2018 Oct 20

  5. I have never seen “Elephant” on the menu.

    It has never been proven scientifically that elephant tusks contain the qualities of an aphrodisiac.

    Africa should be designated a protected, universal museum for all to enjoy.

    Autonomous AI robots which resemble animals, including artificial blood and guts, should be turned loose on “hunting ranches” for hunters to enjoy – kill e’m, repair ’em, kill ’em again.

    Regarding hungry humans:

    Take all you want.

    Eat all you take.

  6. Clarence Thomas has been living with the Anita Hill apCray for many years. He and Kavanaugh ought to run on a Presidential and VP ticket.

  7. This disconnect between hunter and entitled suburb dweller lies in the utter lack of understanding about how and where your food comes from. Hint: It’s not from a grocery store. Sentimentalism is a weakness not a strength.

    1. I take it that these big game hunters are bringing elephant meat to my local grocery store?

    2. There is absolutely a disconnect. More kids should participate in 4H so we have more adults who understand meat is not born in shrink wrap.

      Hunting is a far kinder way to harvest an animal than the slaughterhouse. When all goes well, it lives a wild and free life, eats an organic diet, and then hopefully falls without knowing what hit it.

      As for me, I have relatives and friends who grew up hunting, but I did not. Since I had trouble vivisecting a sea polyp, I don’t think hunting is for me. I’m an omnivore, and fully cognizant of my hypocrisy. My hens all have names, come running when I call, and they die of natural causes. I also have some roos, too, which I fully intended to never, ever get attached to and send them to the local abattoir. They have names now, too, dang it. The few times I’ve hatched eggs or had to get unsexed chicks to obtain a breed I wanted, I have to make arrangements for others to take extraneous roos over and beyond the capacity my husband will tolerate. (They are very punctual, with a strong work ethic, my roos. Not ones to dilly dally sleeping in.)

  8. I am a gun enthusiast. I hunt and fish when I can but I see no point in killing for the sport of it. Anything I take, I fully intend to eat.
    This is a little sickening to be honest.

    1. I have never picked up a gun in my life and never want to. Killing is abhorrent to me. But I once went whale watching off the Azorres. Skipper and 3-4 other people on the boat. The skipper’s technique for spotting the whales was exactly like a hunter’s. It was skilful and exciting, pitting human intelligence against the animals. We were only shooting pictures, videos and photos but the trip did give me an insight into the thrills of hunting.

      1. John Houston’s ‘Moby Dick’ with Gregory Peck is full of actual whaling footage off the Azores. It was a sustainable industry for centuries, until the hunters got too efficient and numerous. The Haida off the coast of British Columbia still hunt a few each year, from dug out canoes. Adrenalin, food, and a paycheque.

  9. I just wish there were some way these elegant animals could shoot back, and level the playing field.

    1. I just watched a video of elephants struggling to get a baby elephant out of a river. He was jumping at the side, but couldn’t get high enough. They tried several things and finally an elephant got in the river and pushed him from behind. This must have been a half hour tape. Obviously elephants care more about lives than some stupid hunter. Kind of agonizing to watch, but I didn’t think it would be on UTube if it didn’t end happily.

      1. I love stories (with happy endings) about the strong bonds between elephant family members.

    2. Jay S:
      Okay, then we can arm cattle to stop you from eating steak and wearing leather. I can’t understand the thrill you find in prime rib and Nikes when tofu and plastic are so much better cause I think they are!

        1. OLY:
          Its tiring and so out of touch with where your meat comes from. My family were real butchers. We know.

      1. Meapo –
        Now that you brought it up, I ought to point out that I don’t eat steak or prime rib, and I don’t wear Nikes or leather. So what is your next accusation?

        BTW, if I remember correctly, there was a scene in the movie “Crocodile Dundee” where Dundee hides in the bush and poses as an “armed kangaroo” shooting back at kangaroo hunters. I thought that scene was a hoot.

        1. Jay – I liked that kangaroo seen in Crocodile Dundee, myself. That was a movie when men were men.

          As for your other point, have you ever taken a prescription medication? Because if you did, almost all of them went through FDA trials using animal research. One of those tests, the LD50, helps determine the safe dose and toxicity for humans. The LD50 is the dose at which half of the animals who consume, breathe, or are injected with the drug die. That’s just one experiment.

          It is quite hard to dissociate yourself from killing animals. However, it is refreshing to find someone who opposes hunting who does not wear leather or eat meat. However, do you consume dairy products (which produces calves raised for meat), eat Jello or other gelatin products, take supplements in gelatin capsules, ever use a plastic bag (animal fat lubricant added to plasticizer), use any plywood (the glue uses slaughterhouse blood and soy protein), ever used Crayons (the smell is from tallow), use paint brushes with hide glue in the handle or natural animal bristles, use shampoo with animal-derived Panthenol, wear cologne that uses musk (from animal scent glands), use white sugar (refined with bone char), ever used a condom (the lubricant casein comes from milk protein), eaten a Hostess cupcake or other processed confection (bovine fat), ever drink orange juice or taken a supplement with added Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish) . Even the computer you are reading this on may have used animal products in its manufacture.

          I do categorize trophy hunting and subsistence hunting very differently, although it is true that trophy hunters often supply locals with the bush meat.

  10. This MSM focus on white trophy hunters is an obvious red herring:

    Reports from around Africa provide new evidence that giraffe poaching in several countries is on the rise, a trend that could further threaten a species that has lost more than 40 percent of its population over the past 15 years. Today fewer than 80,000 giraffes remain in Africa, and three of the nine giraffe subspecies have populations that have fallen below 1,000 animals.

    “Poaching is definitely on the increase,” said Julian Fennessy, executive director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. “Giraffes are the forgotten megafauna. They’re really not getting the attention they deserve.”

    Poaching isn’t pervasive throughout the continent, but it is particularly problematic in Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said.

    Tanzania, which displays the giraffe as its national symbol, is a poaching hot spot. About 10 years ago herbal medicine practitioners in Tanzania started touting giraffe bone marrow and brains as a way to protect people from, or even cure, HIV/AIDS.

    The belief continues to drive poaching in the country, according to a recent report from Tanzania’s Daily News. The practice has also driven up the prices for giraffe meat, making poaching more lucrative. A 2010 report from Rothschild’s Giraffe Project found that “freshly severed heads and giraffe bones” can bring in up to $140 each.

    Tanzania, which is also the site of massive levels of elephant poaching, typifies another reason for giraffe poaching: The animals are killed to feed the people who are hunting elephants. This also happens in the Congo, Fennessy said, where the Lord’s Resistance Army, run by the notorious Joseph Kony, has been known to operate. “Giraffe are suffering as a result of indiscriminate killing for ivory,” Fennessy said.

    Outside this criminal activity, the bushmeat trade remains one of the driving forces behind giraffe killing.

    Poachers “get a big bang for their buck because giraffes are an easy kill compared to other ungulates and you get a lot of meat,” said David O’Connor, an ecologist with the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.

    For years we’ve been hearing reports of elephant poaching in Africa, but a new study has put a number on the problem. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers slaughtered 100,000 pachyderms across the continent.

    1. It is kind of strange that most articles focus on Caucasian trophy hunters who pay exorbitant fees to legally hunt animals at levels deemed safe for the population, when African poachers are notorious for decimating populations for bush meat, ivory, and fraudulent medicinal uses, both in Africa and in markets like Asia.

      I do not care for trophy hunting, personally, but it’s the poaching that does damage to sustainable population viability. Granted, I hate when a non-problematic elephant is shot, no matter who does it.

  11. First of all, the hunting of animals in almost all countries is regulated and contributes to the conservation of these animals. To have a park official ‘cull’ a herd to a sustainable number would not bring in the millions of dollars that are used to benefit wildlife: anti-poaching, employment of park rangers, maintaining and protecting both humans and animals, etc. In the case of park rangers, veterinarians, and others employed one would be hard pressed to find the mentality that would pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill/cull the animals. Utilizing those with the urge to kill is appropriate. Who better to pay for maintaining balance/life of animals than those who are so designed as to get a thrill from killing them.

    Perhaps when a person is lead to his or her execution in countries that still have the death penalty, the thrill of pulling the switch/lever could be auctioned off and the proceeds could go to the victims of the killer.

  12. We all need to let killers know that we know they enjoy killing. Many of them will say, “I don’t enjoy killing.” They use words like “hunting”, “protecting”, “harvesting”, because they know that enjoyment of killing is the most immoral thing a human can do. Let them use those words if they want to. Everyone else needs to use the words “kill”, “killing”, “murder”, “murdering” in any discussion that involves killing and murdering. Killing is not a sport. It is immoral and unacceptable.

    1. They’re energetic and skilled in their endeavours. You’re a nose-picker in your mother’s basement. Suck it up.

      1. So elegant. Is it really impossible to disagree with someone without getting personal?

        1. Not impossible at all. Sam / Chris P. Bacon pretty much merits rude treatment. For him to merit better, he’d have to write comments which consists of something other than juvenile animadversions. And that he doesn’t do.

    2. “Killing is not a sport. It is immoral and unacceptable.” ~Sam

      To wit: abortion.

    3. Sam – if we rework the lexicon, then “fishing” will now be “fish killing.” Obviously there will be no more fish killing tournaments. Shrimping and crabbing are shrimp and crab killing. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be Murdered Turkey Remembrance Day.

      I understand many of the arguments for and against trophy hunting, but when we come to such comments like all hunters of any kind are sadistic killers, it makes me realize how insulated we are from the realities of survival. In most countries, people struggle to provide food for their families. A bad day means the kids starve. There is no way such a family would denigrate a rabbit stew as any sort of sadistic act, but there would be quite a bit of gratitude. We are so blessed that there are people in the United States so sure of their next meal that they condemn those who harvest meat themselves as uncouth. Very few have that luxury to be snobbish about people providing their own food. You should also be aware that until rather recently, most people in America hunted, slaughtered their own livestock and poultry, shot game birds, set snares and traps for small game, fished, and otherwise killed animals, birds, and fish to have enough to eat. Were most people then savage killers?

      I know someone who raised organic hogs, some for her family and some to sell for extra money. She didn’t like the conditions the animals lived in and quality of the meat you can buy in the grocery store. So she raised her own, taking them to a licensed processor. She most certainly did not enjoy killing animals, but rather viewed it as better food for her kids than she could get in the local stores.

  13. I get my food at a supermarket. The only possible justification for killing a wild animal is for survival or self-defense. Shame on those cowards.

    1. I bet you your water comes from a tap, too. Like Heart said, “Silly, silly fools.”

  14. JT, fair enough, you don’t understand. Maybe there’s a legitimate purpose for these hunts. Maybe it’s just for the thrill. Maybe good people with a weapon use them for bad purposes. Maybe bad people with weapons use them for good purposes. Is there a legitimate end to these hunts and these hunters are using legitimate means to get there?

    There’s a lot I don’t understand about the law. What I do understand is the law is used by good and bad people as a weapon. When it’s used in a bad way, it’s not much different from a big game poacher. They set their sights on the game and then use the law to take it down. Trump right now is the biggest game being hunted. Kavanaugh was another, and likely is still in their sights. Campaigning is all about the hunt.

    Perhaps the explanation for all of this is the most simple: Human nature. Isn’t this why the law exists?

    1. Poor Donald Trump. If one breaks the law one should expect to be punished. Oh, I forgot that doesn’t apply to Trump.
      Neither Trump nor Kavanaugh is a victim.

      1. Neither Trump nor Kavanaugh is a victim.

        Since Kavanaugh has been subject to a vicious campaign of slander and libel and he and his family are now shadowed by security, he most certainly is. Liberals don’t give a dam* about the roadkill they create.

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