This magnificent bull elephant was taken in a successful, legal hunt in Zimbabwe. The elephant had never been seen before, and likely would have died with no one knowing of its existence if the hunt had not taken place.
Mystery surrounded the identity of the elephant, which was estimated to have been between 40 and 60 years old, but had never been seen before in Zimbabwe’s southern Gonarezhou National Park.
But its tusks, which touch the ground in a photograph taken moments after its shooting, confirmed its exceptional nature, weighing an estimated 120lb each.
Social Justice Warriors (SJW) are attempting to create a replay of the witch hunt of Dr. Walter Palmer, who successfully hunted a lion in Zimbabwe earlier this year. In the earlier witch hunt against Dr. Palmer, the emphasis was that the lion was known, had a name, was a draw for tourists, was taken illegally, and was not killed cleanly. Some of those contentions are true, some are uncertain or unknown.
What is known about the taking of the elephant is that none of the above apply.
The elephant was not known. It had never been seen before. It was not named. It was not collared. It was not a draw for tourists. It was taken legally, in a fair chase hunt, and killed cleanly and humanely.
The outside world of humans would never have known of the existence of this elephant if a hunter had not gone to the wilds of Africa, hired the best local guide, hunted hard and long, and with considerable luck, managed to bag this magnificent animal before it died of natural causes.
What both Cecil the Lion and this unnamed elephant have in common is that they were old dominant males who would likely have died before very long, from causes outside of human hunting.
Opponents of hunting want to believe that nothing ever dies. They want to believe that death in nature is somehow nobler and better than death by a human hunter. The opposite is true. Human hunters kill far more humanely (note the root of the word) than the vast majority of the deaths in nature. No picture of the magnificent bull would be preserved in nature. No human would have ever known that it had existed. It had already contributed its genetics to the wild elephant population.
What the opposition to the elephant hunt shows is that the opponents are simply opponents of all hunting, without regard to facts or logic, legality or morality or effects of their actions. It is emotional driven. The problem with emotionally driven arguments is that they often produce results opposite of what is desired.
The real threat to elephant populations is poaching and loss of habitat. Legal hunting, with managed populations of game animals, significantly aids in habitat protection and the reduction of poaching, by creating value in the sustained viable populations of the game animals. This has the ancillary effect of preserving game habitat, which benefits all the animal populations in the ecosystem.
By opposing legal hunting, SJWs put all the habitat and animal populations at risk. When the elephants are gone, there will be no more pictures of magnificent bull elephants taken in fair chase hunts.
Then the SJWs will have achieved their goal. They will no longer emote about elephants killed in the wild, because there will not be any wild elephants any longer.
Make elephants of no value to any hunters but poachers; destroy the legal ivory market and drive up the price of illegal ivory; and you aid in the destruction of wild elephants and wild elephant habitat.
To preserve wild elephants, the local human population needs to have value in preserving them and their habitat. That is what happens with legal hunting. It happens best with stable governments that are not corrupt.
The encouragement of unstable, corrupt governments in Africa, by the left, is a subject for another time.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch