Feature: Soapbox Musings

Trophy hunting - how hunters use jargon to conceal cruelty

Author: Chris MERCER
Published: July 16, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Trophy Hunting – how hunters use jargon to conceal cruelty.

This May 2002 Another victim of canned trophy huntingcanned rhino hunt is a true story.  The way that conservation officials/hunters describe it, they were doing the poor rhino a favour.  Read on:-

A rhino cow was being non-consumptively utilised as a tourist attraction in Kuruman Game Park. Sentimental, urbanised people might erroneously or perhaps maliciously, describe the Game Park as a small piece of fenced land across the road from the industrial estate, but real conservationists would know that it was an 'extended wildlife system' as defined in the new regulations.

The 'active management' of the rhino cow began at 9a.m. in the morning when she was approached by licensed hunters on foot in accordance with good hunting practices. She was first shot humanely at about 9a.m.with a .458 Winchester in a manner which inflicted no more than minimal suffering and did not distress any other animals in the vicinity. Thereafter she enjoyed further humane treatment from time to time during the course of the day. At 4.30 in the afternoon she was seen to be bleeding from four quarters, flanks and hind quarters but could not have been suffering more than minimal discomfort because the ethical hunter was using an approved weapon of the correct calibre. She must also have been pleased to know that the ethical hunter had a permit issued by Kimberley Nature Conservation authorities to introduce her to the doctrine of sustainable use. For all this, and mindless of her duty to be sustainably utilised for the benefit of conservation, she had unlawfully retreated into a thicket. The ethical hunter was by now shooting from his safari vehicle in accordance with good hunting practices because she was wounded, albeit only minimally.

Not because he was afraid that his vehicle would get a puncture in the thicket or because he was tired from all that pulling on a heavy trigger, the ethical hunter decided at 4.30pm to pull out his cell phone and call up a helicopter from the industrial estate, which lay in plain sight across the highway from the extended wildlife system. The helicopter arrived within minutes and descended upon the thicket in order to flush the rhino cow out. When she emerged she received more humane treatment from the ethical hunter's .458 Winchester, which caused her to retreat back into the thicket. This meant that the process had to be repeated again and again. But this was the rhino's own fault because she exhibited a marked aversion to the humane treatment she was getting.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Chris MERCER

Chris Mercer - CV. After a career as an Advocate practising law in Zimbabwe and Botswana, Chris came back to South Africa in 1984, and decided to retire young. He farmed in the Western Transvaal for ten years, before he and Bev moved to the Kalahari …

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