A Zimbabwean hunter, Ron Thomson, says he is totally unrepentant about killing more than 5,000 elephants, 60 lions and 50 hippos.
The 80-year-old father-of-two, a game ranger, claimed that he killed the animals, not for the love of it but to help the species survive.
Thomson, who claims to have killed 800 buffalo and 40 leopards, is of the view that growing animal populations would destroy their own habitats if their numbers weren’t reduced. In an interview with a British publication, Thompson said:
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.