Trophy hunters are cashed-up thrill killers with plenty of excuses to justify their love of killing. Many have trophy rooms with frozen-faced animals mounted on their walls as reminders of their own glory days. Trophy hunting is no longer a man’s world as plenty of cashed up women join the blood bath. I will not use the term sport because sport implies both sides are playing to the same rules.
Please watch the following video to the end:
“Hunters are the true conservationists,” said Dave Duncan, an adviser and coordinator for hunting safaris. “If it weren’t for hunters, there probably wouldn’t be any animals left in the United States.”
“The fastest way to threaten a species is to quit hunting it,” said U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance president Nick Pinizzotto. “There’s great value on those animals because people want to pursue them as big game and they’re willing to pay a lot of money to do that.”
Exactly How Much Money Goes To Whom?
With an annual trophy hunting revenue of over US$200 million dollars, only a pitiful less than 3% of revenue actually makes it to African communities in hunting areas.
American Anna Norris Vorisek claimed the spotlight when she shot an arrow into a Polar Bear’s chest, at 40 yards. It’s illegal to hunt polar bears in the U.S. so Vorisek and her husband traveled to northeastern Canada where every year about 30 polar bears are hunted outside Grise Fiord, Canada. The Voriseks took six airplanes to reach the town of 130 people. Under Canadian law, only native tribes are allowed to hunt polar bear though exceptions are made for foreign trophy hunters like Anna, who says: “I’ve been on a lot of hunts and harvested a lot of animals!”
One has to wonder why trophy hunters extend the length of suffering they inflicted upon the animal they target. Trophy hunters do not go for a clean kill where the animal is dead before it hits the ground, but rather, after firing an arrow or pulling the trigger of their gun, many trophy hunters savor the time when the animal has been hit but can be seen staggering and heard gurgling on it’s own blood. As the stricken animal’s lungs fill with blood, trophy hunters have the joy of seeing the once majestic animal fall to its knees and collapse in the dirt, often still alive and making rasping sounds, depending on where it has been hit.
A large animal such as a Polar Bear of Rhinoceros does not die quickly with a single arrow shot.
As soon as the animal is struck, it is the trophy hunters time to make gestures of grandeur and strut about with their chest puffed up with pride in their narcissistic achievement. The outpouring of an injured animal’s blood which they caused to happen, appears potently intoxicating to trophy hunters. Is trophy hunting the ultimate act of legal hedonism with its over stimulation of triggered feelings and automatic sexual-reflex responses to stimulants which are triggered when either men or women are involved in high risk activities – such as killing?
What is Trophy Hunting?
Trophy hunting is the killing of wild animals, including relatively scarce game like rhinoceroses, leopards, lions and elephants, with the intent to collect “trophies” – such as the entire carcass or body parts like the head, hide and legs — which are then taxidermied. Over 9,000 trophy hunters, primarily from North America and Europe, annually travel to South Africa alone while thousands more travel to other countries within Africa and beyond.
VIDEO: at the 2.10 minute mark, after the first shot is fired, you will hear a high pitched sound – that is the Rhino crying out in agony – the high pitch noise is their sound of great distress.
At the 2.33 mark – after four shots have now been fired, you will hear more of the high pitched Rhino screams as he runs into the cover of bushes. He’s been hit four times and is still running!
At the 2.50 mark – his cries continue until the 2.50 mark, when he drops to knees and rests upright; wounded with four bullet holes and unable to run away.
At the 3.00 mark another shot is fired into him at close range, as his cries continue after the impact of the bullet.
At the 3.18 mark his cries stop and he topples over to his side – still alive.
As the 3.40 mark his hind legs are still moving as the group of hunters cautiously circle him. He is mortally wounded.
Trophy hunting is an elitist hobby for the wealthy and many of them are members of organizations such as the Safari Club International (SCI), which promotes competitive trophy hunting throughout the world, even of rare species plus canned hunts, through an elaborate awards program.
SCI members kill particular species of animals to win so-called ‘Grand Slam’ and ‘Inner Circle’ titles. To win all of them at the highest level, a hunter would have to kill 322 animals of different species or subspecies. The SCI continues to create and feed a culture glamorizing death and violence globally, as fortunes are made on the back of millions of animals whose lives are taken by trophy hunters for the sake of killing in an endless spiral of competition.
Its quite common for an African nation to sell permits for trophy hunting, even for endangered species. Namibia and South Africa are legally permitted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to sell five permits for the hunting of adult male black rhinos each year.
745 rhinos were killed due to illegal poaching in 2012 in Africa, which amounts to approximately two rhinos each day, mostly for their horns. In South Africa alone, 461 rhinos were killed in just the first half of 2013. The real tragedy here is that the one rhino that was bought in an auction, to be killed, received a disproportionate amount of media attention compared to the hundreds of rhinos lost to poaching each year, which remain largely invisible.
Trophy hunting IS legal and it is NOT poaching. Poaching refers to the illegal hunting of animals, often for the sake of harvesting valuable body parts like rhino horns or elephants tusks. There are times when trophy hunting crosses the line into poaching, as may have happened in Cecil the lions’ case, who was lured outside the boundaries of the protected Hwange National Park in order for the American dentist Palmer, to shoot him, an action the government of Zimbabwe has described as illegal.
People’s emotions continued to run high after Cecil’s killing when shipping company UPS confirmed they will continue shipping trophy animals around the world. In a case of misplaced anger, people verbally attacked UPS and accused them of robbing their children of the pleasure of future life on the planet because of their greed.
South Africa has been an attraction for tourist hunters from the United States and Europe for decades. Young lion cubs are taken from their mothers within three days of being born, causing great distress to the mother and cubs alike. The cubs are then raised by hand so they can be used in petting zoos, to make money from them as commodities.
When the cubs become of age they then spend the rest of their life in caged compounds waiting to be released in a larger compound for the so called ‘canned’ hunt. Cubs are raised for the sole purpose of being targeted in an enclosed hunting ground, where they have no chance to evade their hunters. They are often are drugged or even baited with food to make it easier for the trophy hunters to shoot them with either a bullet or an arrow
Providing you can afford it, anyone can pay and hunt big game animals in South Africa, and even a hunting license or proof of your hunting experience isn’t usually necessary. This means that many lions and other big game are not killed by the first shot, otherwise known as a ‘clean kill.’ Non-professional trophy hunters inflict an agonizing death upon the animal, especially when non-professional trophy hunters attempt to kill a lion or other large animal with a bow and arrow.
In South Africa there are approximately 6000 lions currently being held in 200 breeding farms and neighboring properties where they will be killed by mostly inexperienced trophy hunters. More than 1000 lions are hunted each year.
Along with the trophy hunters who participate in this barbarism, are tourists who are unknowingly and misleadingly contribute to the Canned Hunting industry through their volunteerism at these breeding farms. Since the breeding farms don’t disclose the true reasons as to why they have the cubs, nor why there is a need to nurture them, volunteers are essentially contributing to raising the cubs just so that they can be shot once they reach maturity.
How Difficult Is It Organize A Trophy Hunt Expedition?
Hunting a lion is made easy for cashed-up wealthy non-professional trophy hunters. You simply hire a ‘Professional Hunter’ (PH), who has the backing of a operation with a large staff who take care of everything for you.
For your hunting enjoyment, the PH will pre-arrange for animals to be shot and dragged for kilometers to deliberately leave a blood trail and then hang the bloodied carcass in a tree where trail cameras are installed, and the camera footage will examined in the morning to check if the leopard, for example, took the bait.
If so, a “blind” is set up for the hunter to hide inside it and a waiting game ensues. A “blind” is a little covered ‘box-type-area’ in close proximity of the bait which was used to coax an animal to a particular spot to be shot at close range. The “blind” is completely camoflagued so the animals is blind to the hunters proximity – hence the name “blind.” Using a “blind” is the most cowardly and one-sided form of attack possible – it is NOT a sport. Sport takes place when both sides play to the same rules.
Using the leopard as our example, if the leopard shows up again, he gets shot with a rifle or arrow from close range. Animal baiting is standard practice in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique at least. Once an animal is killed, it has to be hauled back to a holding area and the first stages of treatment activated immediately to prevent decomposition setting in. Whether the animal is treated in the country it is killed in or shipped internationally for treatment and taxidermy, the cost is enormous.
Local people who are often financially very poor by comparison are only too willing to accept large amounts of money waved in front of them to lure them to satisfy hunter’s wants and desires, which can include selling off wildlife to the highest bidder. Zimbabwe is even allowing wealthy foreigners to slay elephants for trophies. That program is so badly managed that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suspended imports of elephant trophies from that country in 2014 and again in 2015. If Zimbabwe is serious about taking action, it should follow in the footsteps of Botswana and ban all trophy hunting.
The more rare the animal, the more thrill to kill for the ‘big game’ trophy hunters and the higher the price for the permit, which trophy hunters are willing to pay. Trophy hunters care about killing the biggest and the best, and bringing home full trophy mounts or body parts. The mantra of trophy hunters caring about conservation and respecting the animals falls on deaf ears.
While some trophy hunters do care about where their hunting revenue ends ups and the impact their hunt has on the local animal population, sadly the majority of trophy hunters have no regard for the welfare of the animal or the local communities in which they hunt and kill animals in.
The internet is littered with evidence that certain “big game” animals are in crisis yet they are mercilessly hunted by amateur non-professional hunters whose main interest is getting a bang for their buck. If you pull the trigger or you fire the arrow it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the animal is killed immediately. It is NOT acceptable to stand around congratulating each other as an animal is thrashing on the ground, drowning in it’s own blood in a drawn out death which you caused!
If you are going to be a trophy hunter or any other type of hunter at least have the common decency to hunt responsibly, with a shred of empathy for the injured animal. Nothing else is acceptable.
Thank you for reading,