Warning: Graphic Content
A video has emerged of a number of elephants charging towards two hunters after they shoot and kill one of their herd.
The distressing video was filmed in the Nakabolelwa Conservancy in Namibia, and shows the two men running away after the herd, made up of young and old elephants, starts charging towards them.
One man can be seen taking aim at the animal, while the other says ‘hit it between the eyes’.
The men then shoot the animal twice before it sadly falls to the ground.
According to Corné Kruger, a qualified big game hunter based in Namibia, the video was actually shot a couple of years ago, though it’s only just surfacing now.
Kruger told News24 elephant hunting in Namibia was a sensitive issue, but is sometimes employed as a ‘legal and sustainable’ practice.
There is a small quota of elephants in the area and we only hunt two elephants a year.
You can watch the video here:
Kruger owns Omujeve Hunting Safaris, and said legal hunting has actually benefited the area by providing jobs for people. Funds are also raised by the safaris for conservation and anti-poaching units.
Hunting becomes poaching when legal permission is not obtained, and it is due to poaching that elephant numbers are declining.
According to the WWF, the number of wild African elephants is currently around 415,000, though is declining due to the animals being poached for their tusks and the illegal ivory trade.
In the Kruger National Park in South Africa, 58 elephants were poached between January and August 2018.
Last month, it was reported a ‘professional hunter’ had shot and killed a rare, large-tusked elephant in Zimbabwe. Four years earlier, the same hunter was also apparently responsible for the 2015 death of the largest hunted elephant in Africa since 1986.
According to National Geographic, the loss of such big-tusked elephants can have a significant impact on herds, affecting the elephant gene pool as a whole.
Vicki Fishlock, resident scientist at Amboseli Trust for Elephants, a research and conservation organization in Kenya, 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.
Researchers also believe elephant tusk size is on the decline.
Elephants are now considered to be evolving smaller tusks, due to so many of the large-tusked species being hunted and therefore removed from the gene pool.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.