In the past couple of months, I have noticed a trend of hunting stories and photos come across my Facebook newsfeed. The photos did not include only small game hunting like ducks and rabbits, but trophy hunting where people kill rare animals like giraffes, lions and elephants.

Most recently I saw a photo of a woman proudly lying next to a dead giraffe. When I saw the photo, I honestly wanted to cry. I thought to myself, “Who could ever do such a thing and be happy about it?” I immediately found myself researching the Internet for anything I could find about trophy hunting and why people would actively kill animals facing extinction.

Many trophy hunters kill African wildlife because they believe it helps conserve species or provides for poor communities in surrounding areas, according to what I discovered online. The woman in the photo, Rebecca Francis, told Hunting Life magazine that she was asked to kill the giraffe because it was very close to death and could therefore provide food for a local village. She also stated that the people waited to take the animal’s meat after she killed him and then made jewelry out of the bones.

These reasons do not justify killing beautiful animals. In reality, only 3 percent of revenue from trophy hunting ever makes it to communities in need, according to the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation.

It was unnecessary for Francis to kill the giraffe for this village. If the giraffe was already so close to death, the villagers could have waited for him to die naturally and then take his remains as a means of survival. It would have been better for the giraffe to die peacefully instead of being hunted down and staged for a photo.

Trophy hunters should be willing to donate money directly to struggling communities instead of paying thousands of dollars to hunt. A trophy fee is what a hunter pays to the government or land owner when he or she kills a certain animal on that property. The trophy fee of hunting an elephant is more than $40,000 according to African Sky Hunting, a popular hunting company in South Africa. Villages in hunting areas should not have to rely on hunters to come in and kill animals to provide their people with food and goods.

Even though Francis said she was asked to kill the giraffe, the professional female trophy hunter received death threats and thousands of hate letters on Twitter after posting her photo. It is frustrating that someone can so proudly shoot a giraffe or lion and call it a hobby. If that same person were to cause harm to a neighborhood cat or dog, it would be considered illegal in most states, according to Stray Pet Advocacy. Hunting and animal cruelty should both be illegal and highly regulated.

In the future, I hope to visit Africa and see some of the exotic wildlife that lives on the land. If trophy hunting continues, not only will these animals most likely become extinct, poor villages in hunting areas will be left with fewer options for survival.

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  1. Rose Louise
    May 13, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Excellent post. Thank you for this.

  2. Bob F.
    May 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Your opinion article is filled with false information. To the author, please explain your background that makes you an expert in African hunting. Otherwise, I recommend you go back and read the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation’s “Contribution of Wildlife to National Economics” (since you linked them in your opinion piece). Local villages do not pay for the conservation of wildlife species in the countries that allow hunting. This falls on the governments of these countries and is paid for, in part, by fees that hunters pay in order to hunt from the viable game populations available. The regulations (or, “restrictions” that you are requesting more of) for hunting these animals are set by biologists; most who spend their entire lives to the dedication of saving and conserving wildlife in their countries. I doubt that you have any real knowledge of the effort, funded by hunter’s dollars, pounds, euros, etc, to conserve wildlife in Africa. In order to educate yourself, please read articles that are actually based on facts, not emotion (such as your own). Here is just one example that I will leave for you to expand your knowledge outside of what you hear at dinner parties in the SF Bay area:

    • Carmen Berdan
      May 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Maybe you should read this article Hardly any money from hunting benefits the African communities.

      • Bob F.
        May 15, 2015 at 6:03 am

        Maybe you should re-read my post and my link. Much of the money goes to protecting and managing the endangered species in the COUNTRIES where these hunts take place. The communities do not provide monies for the protection, the biologists and the management of these animals, so of course they do not benefit from the fees paid by hunters. I spelled out everything in my previous post and I was careful to make it as simple as possible to understand.

        • Carmen Berdan
          May 15, 2015 at 8:49 am

          The money goes in the pockets of the PHs, a lot of times in a foreign account and also in the pockets of the corrupt officials. And yes it pays the salaries of some Westerner PhD’s and finances their departments in exchange for “scientific” articles supporting the hunting industry’s interests.

          • Bob F.
            May 15, 2015 at 1:33 pm

            I’m sorry, but Likes, Hashtags, and Emotions, do not equal Conservation. Until the money from your pocket outweighs the money received by a hunter’s pocket, your argument will hold no validity. Just like hunters fund conservation here in the United States (the USFWS just dispersed “$1.1 billion in revenues generated by the hunting and angling industry to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies throughout the nation. The funds support critical fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects that benefit all Americans” – note the change in font, as that is a direct quote from the FWS website), hunters currently fund conservation efforts in Africa. If people like you succeed in stopping that flow of money into Africa, without replacing it, you will have also succeeded in the certain demise of the animals you claim to care about.

          • Carmen Berdan
            May 15, 2015 at 6:00 pm

            Don’t confuse true hunters with the sort of idiots going to can hunt a lion in SA. The problem is that the big ‘conservation” NGO’s like WWF , NC or WCS are controlled by the hunting industry. They suck money from animal lovers (see the recent WWF ads give $8 to save “adopt” a tiger) and they they give it to those supporting “conservation hunting”.

          • Carmen Berdan
            May 17, 2015 at 5:27 pm
  3. Carmen Berdan
    May 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    I hate to see these serial killers with more money than brains calling themselves “conservationists”.

  4. Margrit Harris
    May 14, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for joining the ranks of the outraged Nicole. Well written article, will broadcast via our social networks. It echoes one I wrote after travelling close by Texas Tech, the college of another young women huntress, thought you might enjoy it.

  5. PerpetualStudentOfLife
    May 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    There is a store that I walk past sometimes that considers itself kind of “hipster,” and it has the head of a dead baboon outside, which is really, really disturbing. When did this become trendy? It’s 2015, go on a photo safari or at the very least only kill what you plan to eat.