Pascal Olmeta killed an elephant while on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe, and a video of the incident has recently surfaced for all to see, as reported by the Daily Mail. The former French football goalie posted pictures of his time in the African country on his kids’ website, where he states that the reason he didn’t have a problem killing the helpless animal is because they’re “overpopulated.”
As the video shows, it took two bullets to kill the majestic animal. After the first shot is fired, the elephant roars in agony as the two hunters move in closer for the kill-shot. Olmeta then takes aim and fires, hitting the gentle beast in the head, thus ending its life.
The reason Pascal Olmeta killed an elephant? Apparently, according to the famous footballer and the guide he was with, there’s an overpopulation problem in the area.
Although the heartbreaking footage has only recently come out, it was filmed in 2011, and there’s been an unsurprising response of disgust from the public. Not only was this animal needlessly slain, but elephants are mammals that are routinely the victim of poaching, not just throughout the African continent but also in India.
Masha Kalinina of Humane Society International was outspoken in her outrage regarding the video showing Pascal Olmeta killing an elephant.
Kalinina stated, “As the world faces an elephant poaching crisis, with around 100 elephants poached every day, it is absolutely sickening to see anyone celebrating taking even one innocent life of this magnificent species.”
Masha goes on to say that in a country like Zimbabwe, the money Olmeta put toward the hunting expedition more than likely was not used for the safekeeping and overall well-being of local wildlife, but rather to fund more trips similar to the one in which he and one other man shamelessly executed an elephant.
It’s worth noting here that what Olmeta did that day isn’t illegal, per se, as long as no poaching activities took place once the elephant was dead.
According to WWF Global, African elephants are poached mainly for their tusks, even though global-scale ivory trade has been done away with. Thousands upon thousands of elephants are slaughtered on a yearly basis for the ivory of their tusks. Asia, and China, specifically, is where most of the world’s illegally obtained ivory ends up.
The other reason the lives of African elephants are being threatened is due to expanding communities of people, which make the territories where these massive creatures live shrink, thus blurring the lines between human territory and elephant habitat, creating conflict between the two life forms.
Although it’s not a widely occurring epidemic, elephants have been known to kill people, and in some cases, people have begun to retaliate.
The newly discovered video footage showing the moment Pascal Olmeta killed an elephant has had a predictable uproarious response. People are upset. If there’s one thing all decent, rational people of this world can agree on, it’s that there’s no good reason to hurt or kill an innocent animal just for the sake of hurting or killing it.
Olmeta has chosen to put out a statement in response to the negative backlash. The statement begins by claiming that the hunting trip in question, which Pascal went on in 2011, was one that occurs in Zimbabwe on a yearly basis, and the specific purpose of this trip is for the participating hunting party to take measures in decreasing the danger posed to the community from elephant overpopulation.
According to the statement, the elephant Pascal Olmeta killed was one of a group of elephants that had been predetermined to be taken down that day.
There were only two problems attributed by elephant overpopulation listed in the statement. First, they “cause irreparable damage to the houses,” and second, “they are also the cause of many deaths among the local populations.” No numbers or statistics were given for these proclamations.
Apparently, Olmeta was taking part “in the sustainability of the species, maintaining a necessary balance between the sexes and age groups.”
As far as what became of the slain elephant, a local national park took ownership of the tusks and any edible parts were given to nearby townspeople.
“This means that all income from hunting are used to help improve the living conditions of local people living with wildlife or near protected areas, and to support conservation programs.”
Whether or not this hunting practice is legal or not, the fact remains that Pascal Olmeta killed an elephant, and this elephant was not, at least at the time, threatening any people or destroying any houses. The magnificent creature was minding its own business when it was gunned down. The animal’s two killers then smiled over its corpse.
[Featured Image by Gwoeii/Shuttershock]