The ethics of big game hunting has become a heated topic thanks to social media. People love posting pictures of themselves hovering over giant exotic animals and even more people love to comment on it. No matter the outrage or support for big game hunting, it’s hard not to point out when karma takes its turn.
10. Big Game Hunting
Big game hunting is a popular activity for people with tens of thousands of dollars to burn. There’s something that makes big game hunters seek the thrill of the kill on large, often endangered animals. What about killing an innocent exotic animal for sport is so appealing? It’s definitely not self-defense and one excuse is given in #9.
9. Hunting Helps Overpopulation?
Some hunters say they do it because it helps the environment and helps keep wildlife populations in balance. Glenn Kirk of The Animals Voice says hunting does little to control population growth. The license fees for hunting often manipulate target game species into overpopulation “at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species.”
8. Decline In American Hunting
Either way, hunting is losing its popularity in the United States. In 1996, 15 percent of the population considered themselves hunters. Twenty years later and that number is down to five percent. Most people believe hunting is a necessity, but social media has made the outrage against big game hunting more public such as #7.
7. Killing Cecil The Lion
In 2015, Italian veterinarian Luciano Ponzetto became the target of social media attacks when a photo surfaced. The picture showed Ponzetto with a dead lion in his arms. Cecil the Lion was the best-known animal at Hwange National Park and the story quickly gained international attention. The incident sparked an intense debate on the ethical reasons for hunting.
6. Cecil’s Revenge
Karma caught up to the Italian hunter in December 2016. Ponzetto plunged to his death while hunting for birds with a group of friends. He slipped on some ice and fell down a 100-foot ravine. “He died instantly and there was nothing that could be done.” And this isn’t an isolated incident as you’ll see in #5.
5. Game Hound Pioneer
Theunis Botha is a renowned hunter in Africa who supposedly perfected leopard and lion hunting safaris with hounds. He was a pioneer in the excursion and was known for his safety record. His company Game Hounds Safaris was one of the most popular companies to hunt with in Zimbabwe, Africa.
4. Botha’s Big Game Trophy Hunting Safaris
Botha would traverse the United States recruiting wealthy hunters. The experience led many Americans to Africa where they would attempt to target a big game trophy to mount on their walls. He was really good at his job. He was about to learn the full weight of his profession in #3.
3. Spotting A Herd Of Elephants
In May 2017, 51-year-old Botha brought a hunting group to Gwai, Zimbabwe. The safari brought them to a herd of breeding elephants. The group immediately whipped out their firearms and began shooting at the large animals. Three of the elephants got spooked and started charging at the hunters.
2. Loss Of Lives
As they shot the animals, one lifted Botha up in the air with her trunk and dropped him on the ground. The hunting group shot at the animal until it ended its life. The elephant collapsed and landed right on top of Botha, crushing him under her enormous weight. Let’s discuss what this means for big game hunting in #1.
1. Learning A Valuable Lesson
Like Ponzetto, Botha died instantly while attempting to hunt for sport. Both men tried to fight with nature and nature fought right back. It’s a tragic situation and it’s hard not to feel for the hunter’s family. It is also difficult to find sympathy for people who lose their lives while trying to take a life for the fun of it.
Any activity involving firearms requires safety and focus. The insane part of the two stories we have discussed is that neither of the hunters died at the hands of their human-made weapons. Their deaths can be attributed to clumsy walking and trying out luck against a 2-ton animal.
Theunis Botha’s situation is terrible because he had his hunting group fire at an entire herd of elephants. Four of those gigantic creatures charged the group. Botha’s pride allowed him to get grabbed by the immense trunk. Ironically, he lost his life because his tour group was trying to save it.