A German guy paid $60,000 for a 3-week hunting trip to kill the Big Five: an elephant, a leopard, a lion, a buffalo and a rhinoceros. On Facebook, he proudly posed next to a dead animal which seemed to be a very big elephant, probably between 40 and 60 years old. The elephant had never been seen in Zimbabwe before and may have crossed the South-African border, coming from the Kruger National Park. Although Zimbabwe suspended hunting after the previous scandal this summer, two weeks later the ban had already been lifted.
This incident raises the question again if it is morally right to kill animals for fun.
Hunting comes in many different ways. It would be hypocrite to say I am totally against hunting. Shooting a rabbit for Sunday dinner I can accept. And I also like a good stew of deer or wild boar. Hunting for food can somehow be justified.
In the United Kingdom fox hunting is kind of a national sport. Hunters say that foxes don’t have natural predators in the UK and hunting is needed to control the population. This argument probably also applies to other animals in other regions.
Hunting animals for their furs, like minks or seals, is not acceptable. Our modern society does not need animal furs for clothing anymore, there are plenty of alternatives.
But I am really disgusted when it comes to killing endangered animals for fun. Some African countries might think they need the income of hunting to survive. Zimbabwe gets a yearly income of $20 million from hunting permits, while the eco-tourism generates ten times that much.
The total population of elephants in Africa has dropped from 5 million in the 20th century to only 470,000. At this rate, the elephant will be extinct in 50 years. If all the animals are killed, what is going to generate the country’s income then? In the long term it is more profitable to sustain a healthy wild life stock and draw income from tourism.
Besides, how will they be able to stop their own people from poaching of wild animals while at the same time they allow foreigners to shoot them?
It would be ignorant to blame only the African governments. Morality starts with education. Shortly after the Cecil incident, a Canadian boy got a hunting party for this 9th birthday, to shoot a bear with his friends! Shouldn’t we be teaching our children that it is wrong to kill for fun? Many psychopaths started with killing animals for fun. Will these kids be able to push the kill switch when it comes to killing a human being? #News