An African trophy hunter who claims to have killed more than 5,000 elephants says he is proud of himself and says he has “no regrets.” The Zimbabwean, Ron Thomson, was named in a report by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting specifically noting how the elephant population has declined from 1.3 million to just 400,000 in the world.
“I’m totally unrepentant, a hundred-ten thousand – times over for any of the hunting I’ve done because that’s not the problem. The problem is we’ve got a bunch of so-called experts from the West telling us what to do. I’m a trained university ecologist – I must surely know something about this,” Thomson stated.
According to the Independent, Thomson worked in Africa’s national parks for 57 years and contends even though the population of elephants have dramatically decreased in the world, the limited space of parks makes it necessary to kill some of the inhabitants. And on Thomson’s website, he states, in addition to killing 5,000 elephants, he also shot 800 buffaloes, 60 lions and 50 hippos.
In 2016, Thomson set up a group called the “Green Alliance” to “reject the animal rights doctrine,” claiming debates over animal population is covered in emotions, lack of knowledge and lobbying group finances. Thomson claims he no longer hunts.
“He says the doctrine runs counter to any sustainable wildlife management and conservation approach, and has to integrate the needs of the people and the wildlife.”
Animal advocates say that “management culling” is just a cover-up for trophy hunting. Founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, Eduardo Goncalves is petitioning the UK government to close loopholes that exempt trophy hunters from laws to protect endangered species including placing a ban on importing trophies such as cheetahs, lions, leopards, hippos, bears and zebras.
Ivory taken by trophy hunting has increased 12-fold over the past 30 years. Britain has taken more than 1,000 elephant trophies and brought home a ton of ivory from animals killed for sport, according to the Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting.
The United States legally imports 126,000 animal trophies every year; the EU estimates or 11,000 animal trophies.
“The trophy hunting industry is slaughtering elephants left, right and centre. Killing elephants for ‘fun’ is unacceptable even more so because of the serious threat to its survival. Trophy hunting is a cruel and abhorrent hangover from colonial times.”
The letter to ban trophy hunting has been signed by the leaders of 70 wildlife and animal welfare groups around the world.
(Photo credit – Dan McBride)
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