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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Positively Wild

by Mauverneen

I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the moment when I have my prey in my sight, the thrill of knowing I have got the shot. I have been on safari, I have seen and shot the lion. But I did not take it’s life. I am a photographer.

On safari, our guide Jonathon told us how he killed a lion with his spear and showed us the scars on his leg where he was attacked.  Wide-eyed we listened to his story, relieved that he, not the lion, had come out the winner.
A regal pose - Kenya

But trophy hunting? Personally, I do not understand the satisfaction in taking any creatures life, unless it is in self-defense.  I cringe when hunters take down wild game, hunting the deer that often wander into my back yard.
 I just don’t understand the guy who shot the lion. Or the woman who shot the giraffe. Or the family that posed oh so proudly with their downed elephant.

On the Masai Mara, Kenya
I mean, what do they do with those animals? Was the dentist going to mount the lion head in his office? Oooh – look at these teeth! And what on earth do you do with a dead giraffe? Do they leave the elephant carcass to just rot in the sun? A feast for the hyenas and vultures. 

vultures making quick work of what looks to be the remains of a water buffalo
Seeing the migrating wildebeest by the thousands is an awesome sight that made me pause and think. Is this what the American plains looked like when the buffalo roamed free? To Native Americans they were their livelihood. Not trophies. And the intruders came and decimated them to the point of extinction.
Buffalo - Custer State Park, So. Dakota
I am hopeful that at least this latest illegal lion kill will help the cause. Trophy hunting – of all kinds – should be banned. No more elephants slaughtered for their tusks, no more rhinos for their horn, no more deer or elk for those magnificent antlers. No more bears or seals or leopards for their beautiful fur.

Wild elephant - Kenya
On safari, I sight my prey, take aim in the cross hair, follow my prey until the best possible second for the shot, and then gently press the shutter. I shoot but I do not take it’s life. I am a photographer.
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