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Not the elephants connected to this story

A German hunter killed a 60-year-old elephant angering conservationists around the world. The elephant had at least another 15 years to live. The fee for the legal hunt was $60,000. According to locals, who also said the tusks were so large, the elephant was the largest in the area for the past 50 to 100 years that they nearly scraped the ground. It is estimated that the tusks weighed 240 pounds. It was probably a wise old elephant accustomed to being hunted but no match to modernized weapons. Such hunts are legal in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, and other countries. Most people in the world deem such hunts unethical and not worthy of being called a “sport,” if you have the money, you are a fingertip away from being permitted to slaughter these defenseless animals.  

Although the hunt was technically legal, the case has once again brought ethics to the front stage, where the world’s largest and magnificent animals are easily killed for “sport.” The controversy comes on the heels of the story concerning a Minnesota dentist who killed a park lion last July in Zimbabwe. That case involved the beloved “Cecil,” a 13-year-old lion. Authorities have opted not to charge the dentist. The elephant was also killed in a national park.

Apart from the majestic beauty of the animals and their obvious vulnerability and inability to defend themselves or escape, animal lovers are outraged over the concept of such legal hunts. One seasoned hunter from the U.S. Said there was an obvious distinction to be made between hunting events where skill, planning, and generational family heritage shape the hunt, as opposed to arranged animal kills that only require the pulling of a trigger or the release of an arrow. He said, “It could be likened to paying a game farmer to let you shoot a tethered deer from 10 feet away. There simply is no skill or sportsmanship at play when you shoot an old defenseless elephant”.

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