Iconic Giant Elephant Shot Dead by Trophy Hunters in Zimbabwe
Images have just emerged on Facebook of the slaughter of one of the world’s largest living elephants by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe. On october 8th the enormous elephant was shot and killed in the Malatapi concession near Gonarezhou National Park in Southeastern Zimbabwe. The animal had ivory tusks that weighed over over 120lb (54,4+kg) each.
For big game hunting enthusiasts this kill is quite a score and with tusks this big it has probably been since the late ’80’s since another animal this massive has been taken in Africa. Of course this is good news for sport hunters but bad news for elephants and anyone who cares about the gentle giants.
According to the Conservation Action Trust there exists the possibility that this elephant is one of Africa’s most beloved bull elephants, Nkombo who lost his tracking collar in 2014 and either died or ventured off of Kruger National Park where conservationists had been tracking him for years.
“It is suspected that Nkombo was killed by the hunters as he strayed out of the protection of the national park and into Zimbabwe, however others say that Nkombo has been sighted recently and this elephant appears to be an older bull.” [Source]
The black market for ivory is the primary reason that elephants around the world are facing extinction, and many governments are taking further strides to prohibit and interrupt this global trade. If something can be killed for money, then you can bet that human beings will get the job done.
The justification for killing this magnificent animal was that it was supposedly past his breeding years and therefore was no longer of value, although some experts point out that this animal looks to be between 35 and 40 years old, which is actually prime breeding age. There are very few carriers of the big tusk gene like this animal, none-the-less, and this was a living being that deserved to grow old as much as any so-called sportsman would like to.
No doubt the slaughter of this magnificent will stir up even more public outrage over trophy hunting, especially after the drama over the killing of the iconic African lion, Cecil.
You can take a look at the hunting forum discussing the killing of this bull elephant, here, and perhaps join the conversation.
Read more articles from Vic Bishop.
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– Conservation Action Trust.
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