Footage of a group of elephants charging towards two hunters has surfaced on the internet. This upsetting video was recorded in the Nakabolelwa Conservancy in Namibia. It showed two hunters shooting guns into a mass of elephants at a distance and the elephants then starting to run after them in fury.
In the video, we can hear one of them saying ‘hit it between the eyes’ while the other man takes aim. Then, he shoots one of the elephants twice until it falls still.
A qualified big game hunter in Namibia, Corné Kruger, has notified the public that this incident took place a couple of years ago. While elephant hunting is considered a topic of controversy in the area, sometimes it is a ‘legal and sustainable’ process.
Kruger said, “There is a small quota of elephants in the area and we only hunt two elephants a year.”
Click the video below to see the aforementioned footage:
As the owner of Omujeve Hunting Safaris, Kruger said that legal hunting provides jobs for the local people and is profitable for the community. Sometimes, safaris raise money for conservation and anti-poaching units.
But hunting and poaching are two different things. Poaching is illegal and actually responsible for the alarming decrease in the number of elephants.
From WWF’s stats, wild African elephants population right now is around 415,000. However, they’re decreasing because of the constant poaching for tusks and ivory.
Between January and August 2018, Kruger National Park of South Africa reported the poaching of around 58 elephants. Another report from last month showed a ‘professional hunter’ had poached a rare, large tusked elephant in Zimbabwe. The same person is said to have caused the 2015 death of the largest hunted elephants in Africa since 1986.
Losses like these could change our entire ecosystem, having big negative effects on herds and elephants as a species.
A resident scientist at Amboseli Trust for Elephants, a research and conservation organization in Kenya, Vicki Fishlock said, “Old and experienced individuals are crucial. They are so much more than ‘a breeder’—by the time these animals reach this size, they have been parts of social networks for five or six decades and have accumulated social and ecological experience that younger animals learn from.”
Many researchers have also come to the conclusion that elephant tusk size has been decreasing. Because of so many large-tusked mammals being hunted over time, the gene pool has changed and now, new elephants are evolving into having smaller tusks than their ancestors.
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