A trophy hunter who claims to have killed more than 5,000 elephants and 50 hippos says he has no regrets, and is ‘10,000 times’ unrepentant.
A new report from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting revealed the man – Ron Thomson – had shot numerous animals, contributing to the rapidly declining population of elephants in the wild.
As well as elephants, the trophy hunter claims to have killed 800 buffalo, 50-60 lions, 30-40 leopards, and ‘about 50 hippos’, and racked up 25,000 hours of hunting.
Thomson, a father of two, insists his hunting is not motivated by bloodlust, but that he does it to help animal populations survive, believing that if some species are not reduced, their growing numbers would destroy their own habitats.
The hunter also accused conservationists of spreading ‘fraudulent lies’ about wildlife in order to extract money from the public, according to the Independent.
I’ve done enough in my lifetime to satisfy any ‘bloodlust’ people may think I have. It wasn’t bloodlust – it was my job.
I didn’t have any sentiment. 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.
I wish I could take you by the shoulders and shake you hard and say ‘don’t assume everything you’ve heard is correct’. The African elephant is nowhere near extinct. People who say this are animal-right-ist NGOs who ask for money and tell lies to get it. When you have a healthy population you must ensure they don’t increase beyond the capacity of their habitat.
In an interview with The Guardian last year, Thomson said it was ‘a great thrill’ to him to kill an animal, and that he enjoyed it.
According to the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, elephant populations have plummeted since the 1980s, from around 1.3 million to 400,000 today.
Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said:
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 recent surge in
elephant hunting shows the industry is out of control. It threatens to push endangered
species to the point of no return.
As part of the campaign, Michael Palin has written a letter to UK prime minister Theresa May calling for a ban of trophy hunting, saying: ‘Of all the threats to our wildlife, trophy hunting seems to be the least justifiable and the most despicable’.
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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.