This isn't something we come across in the course of our day to day lives, it is something I should think about more, with my degree being in zoology. But I don't, so when I came face to face with this in my world far removed from zoos and safaris and in my life that consists of WORK and FINDING A SCHOOL and MONEY and BEER and DIET and PAINTING and all my wonky priorities it smacked me & smacked me hard.
PEOPLE STILL PAY A LOT OF MONEY TO SHOOT INNOCENT ANIMALS FOR THE THRILL OF THE KILL.
I've been crying over this for 2 days. Because it happened. It is still happening. And I was reminded in the harshest way possible. Some of the tears shed were probably in disappointment that I had forgotten.
This is happening across the world, but worse yet, in the United States. A supposed first world nation allows men (and woman) to pay a large fee to hunt exotic species. Don't believe me?
Or Google search "exotic trophy hunt texas" yourself. Most of these animals are not listed as endangered species, but are unfortunate to be easily bred exotics. When I worked at an AZA accredited animal park we had more eland, barbary sheep, and zebra born every year than our open range park could accommodate. But sometimes these trophy outfits get lucky and non-accredited "zoos" have going out of business sales and charismatic mega fauna (i.e. rhinoceros, giraffe, elephants, lions) are auctioned off. Don't believe me?
This link will take you to a page telling about Boom Boom, a male white rhino with a story with a happy ending. At the time I was working at a park that received Jack, the other male rhino from the Catskills Game Farm auction, courtesy of Marc Ecko.
Are you wondering about what it would cost to shoot an rhino? According to this man it was $35,000. Another site states "These hunts are not cheap, as Thormählen is pricing them upwards of $250,000." in reference to Thromalen & Cochran Safaris.
I'm at a loss. I can't act on the images I encountered. I've asked to never be sent to the site again, but I'm feeling helpless to stop this. I know as a nation a trade and travel embargo against nations that allow for hunting of endangered species is far fetched and there are many human rights issues that are going to take priority. So I feel first we need to ban trophy hunting at home.
I want to be clear. I AM NOT AGAINST HUNTING ANIMALS YOU INTEND TO EAT. I AM AGAINST HUNTING ANIMALS YOU INTEND TO HANG ON THE WALL OR POSE WITH THE DEAD BODIES OF. There is no purpose other to glorify your own ego.
To be continued...