Going out of your way to hunt animals like this has been defended on this board before. But the means by which this was done, and the lack of any reason to think the lion was endangering anyone (instead being lured out of a sanctuary specifically designed so no on would get hurt) leaves this without any of the justification that were relevant there.
This isn’t exploiting rich hunters to help with problems with wild animals problems, nor a conservation issue (or food issue) that justifies most normal hunting.
The Dentist is an asshole. People who have a need to kill things that are not eating them or helping control their population have a mental deficiency I will never understand. He poached and should (and likely is going to) be punished.
That said, the way the Internet in general and Twitter in particular allows the entire world to pile onto an individual to the point where their entire life can be ruined is terrifying to me.
I’ve spent some time in that park, and it employs some really incredible people with enormous dedication and expertise.
It pissed me off that this guy felt like he could get away with with whatever because hey, they are all a bunch a poor and corrupt Africans, right? Their rules don’t really apply to him, right? In this sense, I’m glad he is being called out.
But poaching in general is really bad right now. Like, really really bad. And it’s not random American dentists who are causing the biggest problems. We need to treat the systematic destruction of Africa’s wildlife with the same outrage we afford to ISIS’s destruction of antiquities. There is a serious crisis right now and out outrage would be better directed at solving it.
I won’t defend him but he is no different than any other trophy hunter. Last I saw about this he had followed all regulations and was mislead by unscrupulous guides. No one would have ever heard of him if he had killed an anonymous lion.
The first I heard about this, the ‘hunter’ was described as a Spaniard. As horrible as the killing was, I couldn’t help thinking ‘At least, for once, it wasn’t an American!’ :smack:
Sure, he was ‘misled by unscrupulous guides’. :rolleyes: Given that he was convicted in connection with poaching out of bounds before, and given that he must have been aware of the irresistible dead animal lure, I’m sure he was well aware that he was going to kill a lion that was protected. But yeah, we’re hearing about it because he killed the wrong protected lion.
But he didn’t kill an anonymous lion. He went into someone else’s country and callously killed a beloved fixture of their most treasured national park. Symbolism matters, especially for people who hold that symbol dear.
It’s not hard to figure out that it’s not legal to kill a lion in Hwange National Park. From there, it’s not a leap of logic that luring a lion out of the park to kill it is also likely to be at least shady, and probably something you want to be on real sure ground with. A prudent person might consider getting a legal opinion that’s not from the person they are paying for the hunt-- trusting random people you pay in poorly regulated countries is an easy way to end up in jail.
A more prudent person would spend some of that $50,000 to actually spend some time in the area, get to know the local landscape, figure out who to trust, understand the ecology of the area and the economics and legalities of their plans. Not only will that help them avoid killing national treasures, but it will lend some credibility to the whole “I’m a great hunter stalking animals” thing that you just don’t get by parachuting in to a place, shooting the first thing that looks big, snapping a picture and calling it a day.
The sexual harassment is irrelevant. The criminal activity changes the picture. I have always condemned the killing of animals for sport, pleasure, or whatever you want to call it, but when hunters follow the law I don’t find it to be among the greatest problems on the planet, after all we all have a say in the laws and the price of democracy is to allow some activities we may strongly disagree with. However, carrying this over into illegality makes a big difference to me. To go beyond the boundaries of acceptable practices in the desire to kill, to kill in such a cowardly manner reeks of injustice and not simply distaste. I heartily join those who condemn this man personally for his action.
Well said - even for those not opposed to the activity per se, there is supposed to be an ethics in hunting based on respect for the land, for the quarry itself, for others in your hunting party and for what is involved in the process of the hunt.
This fellow has a record of cutting corners with the rules even in his own home country, hard to argue that he didn’t know better. That he’s a highly trained, and one would expect educated, professional only intensifies the :rolleyes: He could have very well afforded a properly conducted hunt.
I like to think that being a highly trained and educated dentist doesn’t necessarily carry over into being a big game hunter. All I’ve seen so far is he can afford big guns and bribes and permits and fines, and he’s probably a pretty good shot.
What I want to know is, what’s the point of hunting something with a crossbow if you still need to follow it around for a while until it falls over, and then you shoot it with a gun? Why not use the gun in the first place?
If you’re hunting for food, I’ve got no problem with you, providing you’re abiding by the law. Every deer you shoot is one less than I might hit with my car, plus herd management prevents some animals from starvation.
Big game hunting is another story. You’re hunting for a head to mount or a rug to make. Nobody needs that stuff. You’re not some brave guy risking death, in this case it was a lion used to people who was an easy hit. If you’re a big game hunter, you’re an asshole. This dentist is a particular asshole in that he killed a beloved local institution. He protests that he practices his hobby responsibly. Bullshit. There is no way to be a responsible big game hunter. At least his dental practice is ruined.