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Conservation

Thirst for a kill


I like the idea of guns and that of a shooting range. If I am disposed to be wealthy, I’ll be mindful to own a ranch where clay pigeon (or bred quail) shooting facilities will be a feature. Mark my words.

But what I just don’t understand is when seemingly normal people travel thousands of miles and pay large sums of money to enable them to hunt animals that are endangered. According to this link, the justification appears to be:

The money brought to rural Africa through the legal hunting of mature elephants helps to fund anti-poaching teams and preserve the land to ensure the long term success of the species.

Yup, hardly a justification. To me, it sounds a little bit like having sex for chastity’s sake. And note the last part refers to “..long term success of the species” Really? Nooo…more like to enable the hunters to be welcomed to the hunting grounds as and when they please.  Whichever way you look at it, doesn’t it defeat the whole purpose in that you are licensing people to kill animals whose numbers are already in extreme decline ?  And who said an aged bull elephant may not be indicative of strong genes – which are obviously desirable to be passed on? And following on this premise, I doubt it would be conclusive that any aged animal was unlikely to ever mate again – therefore inessential as far as passing on its genes is concerned?  And, who get’s to decide whether an elephant can be killed or not? Who bestowed to them that perogative?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing anybody, but don’t you think it would be a different matter if the hunters were out to catch the poachers themselves? If you ask me, it would probably be wiser  to license sports hunters to incapacitate (NOT to KILL) poachers, where they refuse to surrender (or are recognised as a constant offender – as has been done in india for example in re tigers, another endangered species).

Goodness knows how many of these bulls have died from sport hunting. And in any case,what do they do with the meat and tusks of the dead animal? Throw it away? Burn it? With corruption levels being prevalent in many parts of Africa, are you telling me that there isn’t the slightest chance for ivory from such killings to find its way onto the black market? Further, we know that Gorilla numbers declined partly because of disease. But what if something similar (and sudden) happened to Elephants, wiping the population out?

In my view, it would probably be justifiable if the animals were causing havoc among villages near the game reserves, or if their numbers had increased significantly,  for example as has been the case with hyenas and crocodiles in the past. But even then, I’m not convinced that killing elephants as a sport is humane or sensible, when their numbers are dwindling fast. It couldn’t possibly be.

If someone thirsts to kill elephants, maybe they could buy a family and begin breeding them. And when they have sufficient numbers, they could do as they please with them.

In the end, the survival of the planet’s elephant’s is a race for the education of a continent. And western governments must triumph this process, because unless the inhabitants in these countries hosting the hunts are sufficiently educated to realise the multi-faceted harms of hunting, such that they can firmly forbid sports hunting clubs from operating within their countries, we’ll soon hear that elephants are about to become extinct. And as is often the case in such issues, all the blame will be piled onto poachers (who couldn’t possibly be solely to blame) with nothing said of those who should have known better.

On a much more sentimental theme, and despite the research, nobody can say for sure that they know what elephants say to each other.  What we know is that like humans, they have emotional depth and definitely  feel grief. So killing them for sport is in fact an evil thing, worse than our intelligence may help us suppose. Its got to stop.

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  1. Pingback: Return from the Dead: of Mamoths, Tasmanian tigers and dinosaurs « Gnstr's blog - July 15, 2012

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