Two trophy hunters have come under fire themselves after a picture showing them posing in front of a dead young elephant was shared online.
The heartbreaking image was posted by British conservationist Damian Aspinall, though the identities of the two hunters have not been revealed.
In the photo, the young elephant can be seen lying on the ground with its eyes closed, and with what appears to be a bleeding bullet wound in its head. The two smug hunters are stood behind the poor animal, holding rifles on their shoulders.
Damien posted the image to Instagram, and while he didn’t give any information about when or where the hunting had taken place, he explained the elephant in the photo was not the only creature who had fallen at the hands of the two men.
WARNING: some readers may find the following content distressing:
There are few things more reprehensible than trophy hunting. These two monsters shot not just one, but two young elephants in ‘self defence’.
We should be doing all we can to conserve these beautiful, intelligent animals. Not shooting them down for sport.
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There are few things more reprehensible than trophy hunting. These two monsters shot not just one, but two young elephants in ‘self defence’. We should be doing all we can to conserve these beautiful, intelligent animals. Not shooting them down for sport. #stopanimalcruelty #wildlifecrime #stophunting #banhunting #stoptrophyhunting #bantrophyhunting #protectwildlife #wildlifeconservation #aspinallfoundation #backtothewild
It’s not clear how much truth there is in the claim that the men were defending themselves against the elephants, though it certainly seems Damien isn’t convinced, as he suggested they were really shooting the animals for sport.
Either way, the hunters were clearly okay with having killed the elephants. If it was purely self defence, I’m sure any considerate human would feel remorse, instead of the urge to hold their gun high in the air and pose before sharing a photo of the kill.
Damien is chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, a conservation charity which works in some of the world’s most fragile environments to save and protect endangered animals, and return them to the wild.
The website explains:
We believe that animals deserve, wherever possible, to live in their natural environments, free from persecution by humans – from hunting, trapping and loss of their habitat.
The conservationist’s photo was met with disgust and anger as fellow Instagram users shared their outrage at the scene.
One furious commenter wrote:
Truely [sic] makes you think – what is this world coming to!? Such a tragic and sad end to these majestic and beautiful animals. Why is this even allowed – people pay to hunt. It’s a disgrace.
Protection laws need to become more strict. Stop animal cruelty in any sense – there is too much needless suffering caused to animals in this world. Really breaks my heart!
While another responded:
What idiotic gits. How can they possibly stand there looking so proud of themselves. It really is beyond comprehension. Makes me so sad and angry. How can the human species be so ignorant.
It’s horrific to see hunting continue despite our knowledge of its negative impacts to wildlife. It’s a pointless, harmful and immoral sport, and it needs to stop.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.