A German elephant hunter killed the biggest elephant to have been seen in Zimbabwe in at least 50 years, with each of the elephant’s tusks weighing 120-pounds. He did so legally by taking out a $60,000 permit to shoot the elephant while on a hunt.
Many people today are taking a stand against this killing, including a group of conservationists in Zimbabwe. Permit or no permit, the shooting of this animal was just wrong.
According to USA Today on October 17, conservationists believe if money was what the people who issued the permit were after, this elephant was so big, he was a gold mine alive. He would have brought in much more than $60,000 from tourists coming to get a look at the huge creature, according to conservationists.
The chairman of Zimbabwe’s hunters and guides association said that this elephant had not been seen in Zimbabwe before. He also said it “was bigger than the other five or six ‘giant tuskers’ shot over the last year.”
He also suggested if authorities don’t want the “unique elephants” hunted and killed they should have collared them. This comes on the heels of 26 elephants found poisoned with cyanide by poachers in another area of Zimbabwe this week and 14 more elephants killed in three separate incidents last week.
This German hunter was on a 21-day big game hunt and his permit covered other animals to kill which included leopards, lions, buffalo, and rhinoceros. There have been no arrests made so far for the other 40 elephants killed by poachers in the last two weeks.
According to The Guardian today, a Zimbabwe conservation group vows to find the identity of this German hunter and shame him publicly like the American dentist who shot Cecil the Lion. Johnny Rodrigues, who is chairman of the Zimbabwe conservation task force, confirmed that the unnamed man had a permit when he shot the male elephant last week.
Rodrigues also confirmed that Zimbabwean experts had never seen this elephant, but it is believed that this elephant wandered across the border from South Africa, he said. “Such old, large elephants were almost never sighted,”Rodrigues said. “They’re very, very rare. His tusks weighed over 54kg (119lb) – that’s unheard of. You might have 10,000 or 15,000 elephants, but only one in that herd who’s so majestic and iconic.”
While this German hunter is being protected by the authorities and also the people who issued him the hunting permit, Rodrigues said that they have his picture and they are adamantly pursuing his identity. He also said that the guy did shoot the elephant under the permit, but he should have used common sense when seeing such a majestic animal. He should have never shot the rare large elephant.