When will the killing end?
A German hunter reportedly paid $60,000 to shoot and kill one of the largest elephants ever seen in Zimbabwe.
The majestic creature, who was estimated to be between 40 to 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 south-east Zimbabwe.
Its horrific murder comes just three months after Cecil the Lion’s murder.
The hunter, whose identity has yet to be revealed, paid $60,000 for a permit to shoot a large bull elephant on a 21-day game hunt, which included the Big Five of elephants, leopards, lions, buffalo and rhinoceros. He was accompanied by a local.
Even more disgusting? His killing was actually celebrated by those in the hunting community around the world.
Conservationists and safari photographic operators expressed their outrage of the cull. Despite the elephant having never been seen before in the area, Anthony Kaschula, who operates a photographic safari firm in Gonarezhou, said on Facebook:
“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.”
“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.”
Animal lover Ricky Gervais probably said it best on his Twitter: “Can I pay 40K to knock Germany’s biggest twat’s teeth out?”
Though China and U.S., the two biggest importers of ivory, recently pledged to end the illegal ivory trade, aside from a U.S. bill proposing to ban hunters from importing their “trophies,” there is little being done to ban hunting altogether in Africa, specifically Zimbabwe. However, some argue that because some of the money generated by the gaming industry goes to animal conservation, banning hunting outright may cause more problems.
“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,” Kelly Marnewick, manger of an Endangered Wildlife Trust, said in August following Cecil’s death. “And if we cannot fund our conservation work unfortunately we cannot have conservation.”
But just think what $60,000 could have contributed towards animal conservation.