As if the recent backlash against the killing of Cecil the Lion, one of the world’s most beloved animals, had not triggered enough debate about wildlife conservation, one German hunter decided to go the extra mile. In another shocking case of hunting emerging from Zimbabwe, a German tourist dared to invite the wrath of animal lovers by killing the largest elephant spotted in the country for more than 30 years, according to BBC.
Louis Muller, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association, said the German hunter shot the elephant on October 8, while being accompanied by a native and professional hunter, Nixon Dzingai, who is celebrated within the hunting community for providing his clients with large elephants to kill.
The killing took place at Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park located in the south of the African nation, where the German was given the permission to shoot and kill the elephant for a total sum of $60,000. Though the identity of the elephant is not yet reportedly known, it is believed the age of the majestic creature could have been anywhere between 40 to 60 years old.
The Telegraph reports that the unidentified German national had traveled to Zimbabwe to conduct a 21-day game hunt including species among the Big Five of elephants, leopards, lions, buffalo and rhinoceros.
The photo of the tourist shaking hands with his guide in celebration while the majestic elephant lay lifeless in the background has been making rounds on Internet, creating uproar within the animal-loving community.
The killing of the elephant brought back memories of Cecil the Lion, who was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer earlier in July this year. The hunting expedition had caused an international outrage with wildlife conservationists and animal-lovers calling for stricter laws on poaching and hunting within sub-Saharan Africa. In the aftermath of the incident, Palmer had to shut down his dental office, as reported by the Inquisitr, while also going into hiding for fear of a stronger backlash in his hometown of Minneapolis. Only earlier this week, the American hunter found out that he will not face charges for shooting the lion.
However, a fierce debate continues to rage on, and now with the killing of Zimbabwe’s largest elephant, that debate is about to receive a massive shot in the arm. Ever since the news of the German tourist killing the elephant has been revealed, animal-lovers and celebrities have taken to social media to express their disgust and anger.
According to ABC News, each tusk of the killed elephant weighed a massive 120 pounds, much more than the average elephant tusk. Mr. Muller, who revealed the news first, said anything above 100 pounds is considered incredible within the hunting fraternity.
“It was a majestic animal.. Within the hunting fraternity anything above 80 pounds is incredible. If you shoot something over a 100 pounds it is really, really incredible.”
There have been reports that Germany may be blocking the import of the tusks from the giant elephant shot by its national in Zimbabwe. According to Independent, import of trophy tusks from one of Africa’s largest elephants could be illegal, with the country’s nature conservation agency saying it would not hesitate to refuse entry of the tusks if the hunt had infringed upon German wildlife regulations.
Zimbabwe makes about $84 million from big game hunting every year, with wealthy hunters from the U.S. and Europe always seemingly willing to fund their trips with more and more money. In such a situation, protecting wildlife becomes a major obstacle as the country desists from taking the necessary steps to chalk out sport hunting.
All will have to wait and see if the German tourist faces any action over the killing of the one of the largest African elephants, but if he does not, it will only encourage other First World hunters to continue doing much of the same.
[Photo via Free Stock Photos]