Dec 022013
 


Tourist trophy hunters are paying thousands of pounds to go and shoot giraffes with high-powered guns and bows.

The gentle giants are loved around the world for their comical appearance and gentle nature. Just like character ‘Melman’ played by Friend’s-star David Schwimmer in Disney’s Madagascar, they are a hit with kids who love their long necks and eyelashes.

But shocking images show how scores of big-spending men and women – and even families – travel from across the globe, some even from Britain, to kill them for sport.

The gentle giants are tracked down and killed so tourists can take home pictures showing they have killed the animals

Entire families go on the hunts and appear to relish having their pictures taken with the dead giraffe

Hunters pay up to a whopping £10,000 for the the chance to slay them – preferring bulls because they are the biggest.

Safari clubs and game reserves ask for a £1,500 trophy fee, and then add on rates for guides and trackers costing around £1,000 per day.

The hunts typically last three-to-five days and see tourists using .458 Winchester Magnum rifles to kill the animals.

With most hunters flying to Africa from their homes in Europe or America, the costs stretch into five figures.

The hunting continues even though numbers of the animals are plummeting.

But the world’s leading giraffe expert said populations in the countries where it is legal – South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe – can cope with the killings.

The latest statistic show the number of giraffes in the world have nearly halved since 1988 from over 140,000 to less than 80,000.

Dr. Julian Fennessy produced the report for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Another recent IUCN report suggests the giraffe may already need to be listed as a threatened species – because some populations are being decimated in places like West Africa and DR Congo.

They are already thought to be extinct in Angola, Mali and Nigeria.

The animals are near extinction and are no longer found in countries like Nigeria, Mali and Angol

Tourist hunters often take the skin home or get taxidermists to mount the heads so they can be taken home as trophies

Dr. Fennessy also founded Giraffe Conservation Foundation – the only dedicated giraffe conservation group in the world.

He said: ‘I’m not interested in hunting giraffe, but hunters obviously get a kick out of it like others enjoy a game of squash or cooking. It’s a complicated argument. There are lots of factors.

‘The loss of habitat and breaking up of populations by man-made constructions are the main factors threatening their numbers.

‘In the countries where you can hunt legally, the populations are increasing but across Africa the overall numbers are dropping alarmingly.

‘It shows that if properly managed with proper policy and controls, the hunting can be sustainable.’

In some African countries legal hunting can actually help local communities by bringing in money and making meat available to them.

‘Many hunting staff like guides, trackers and skinners who assist the tourists are paid in meat from the kills,’ added Dr. Fennessy.

‘If the tourist has paid the fee for the trophy, the carcass is theirs. Some just like to have photo taken next to the dead giraffe, but others pay taxidermists to mount the head a neck so they can take them home as a souvenir.

‘Or they might want to take the skin home.’

The hunts typically last three-to-five days and sees tourists using .458 Winchester Magnum rifles to kill the animals

It is legal to hunt the giraffes in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia – where they have greater numbers of giraffes

He added: ‘Some hunters come from Britain but the big majority are from North America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia. ‘The worst part of trophy hunting is the fact that the hunters can miss their target and fail to kill the giraffe quickly.

‘If they don’t hit the right spot then it can lead to suffering for the animal. ‘They might have a ‘second gun’ in the party whose job it is to take the animal down quickly if the tourist misses.

‘But hunting guides need to assess the ability of the hunter and stop the hunt if they do not have the skills to do it humanely.’

Another factors decimating the giraffe population is poaching. ‘Poaching is illegal and is not licensed,’ said Dr. Fennessy.

‘They set wire snares at giraffe-height in the trees to snare their necks, or to trap their feet and kill them when they return. ‘It leads to huge suffering for the animals, sometimes for days.’

We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST a ban on the trophy hunting of giraffes. Please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned?

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Now that you’ve voted, please sign the petition:

Stop Trophy Hunting Giraffes

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The editorial content of this article was written by Pamela Owen for the Mail Online.

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Debra Reyes Swierk

How about we see a pick of these people on the ground lifeless surrounded by the animals they hunt!!!!!!!

Debra Reyes Swierk

The people in these photos are total scumbags!!!!!!

Art Khachatrian

182 pieces of scum voted. 5 idiots. 3337 proper souls.

Linda Rolf

Ban it already! Giraffes are endangered. Isn't that enough reason. I won't hold my breath waiting for these worthless POS to do the right thing!

Art Khachatrian

I'm in.

On a more realistic note, I can assure you I won't go until I've helped a few of that scum out of existence.

Art Khachatrian

A good #hunter is the dead one.

#Untermenschen for the gallows.

Art Khachatrian

Piece of shit. Spew that in my face – and you're lying wiggling like a worm on fire and begging for forgiveness while I'm gently removing your hideous eyeball from its socket.

Olga Madzarevic

Shame and a woman and a child, what kind of parents !!!

Antónia Silva

ASSASSINOS ASSASSINOS ASSASSINOS BÁRBAROS PENA DE MORTE É POUCO

Suzanne Cassidy

Beautiful, beautiful, animals, loving, gentile, non aggressive, not a canavor. Please stop. Killing them is not a sport we are suppose to be protecting them
They will be extinct if kept up like the white rinos., tigers etc. STOP.

David Carter

So never checked my auto spell. lol deer not dear. Bahaha

Eric Watson

I think if people from america go to another country to hunt….it should be allowed to treat those hunters as the hunted

Phillip Jackson

I think all trophy hunting should be band,they aren't trophies they are dead animals we can ill aford to lose.

Lisa M. Estrada

Such a ridiculous "sport"….shameful.

David Carter

Trophy hunting should be OK and allowed if they hunt with their bear hands. No weapons at all. If the animal doesn't then why should the trophy hunter. I would actually like to see if someone could get close enough to a dear and choke it out or actually snap the dears neck. If someone actually possess super human strength then that would be the only advantage they had. Lol They also can not go to a doctor after the hunt, because a dear wouldn't. That to be would be the boss of hunters.

Alec Sevins

"As between the skulking and furtive poacher, who hunts for the sake of meat, and the honest gentleman shooter, who kills for the pleasure of sport, I find the former a higher type of humanity." (Edward Abbey)

"Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one." (Edward Abbey)

Alec Sevins

Ted Nugent is no fluke. Man is a nasty species.

Denise Bridges

All trophy hunting should be banned. Why aanyone would want to stand next to a beautiful dead animal that they have just slaughtered with a huge smile on their face defies all logic. Human populations are out of control….not those of animals!

Becky Barnes

Yes it should be banned

Victoria B. Parisio

Do you really have to ask that question? I'd rather go and hunt the damned trophy hunters? give me the damned gun and I'll go and get them, be more than happy to oblidge get rid of the garbage on the face of the earth, the human waste.

Melanie Leach

I would love to stick there familys head on my wall an see how they like it, this is a cruel sport an needs to be stopped. there is no excuse for this the law should ban all blood sports. these are loving creatures an they need protecting before its too late

Stacey Struck

Murdering Giraffes for no reason is just stupid and all these people are just STUPID and that is putting it nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

if you want to hunt, build a time machine and go back to the stone age!!!!

Linda Soflarsky Barosky

Its one thing if you hunt because you need to survive, which I still don't like. This is not the case with these morons who do this for the "thrill". I will never understand how anyone gets pleasure by taking another life. How sad.

Lesley Casajuana

What a waste of another beautiful animal. Trophy hunting should be banned, these idiots who go on them have more money than sense. They could use the money to protect wildlife for future generations, because if we carry on like this they'll be nothing left to kill……….

Sandra Padilla

Horrible

David Graham

TROPHY HUNTERS, PEDOPHILES , RAPISTS ..THEY ARE ALL SAME BREED OF SCUM

David Graham

You could Imagine how he treats his wife ! …Or kids

Roberta Nava

Leave God's beautiful creatures alone!!!! KARMA to those harm these gorgeous animals!!

Maralee Kilts

There should be no trophy hunting for anything.

Carol Meiring

I can't say enough about how disappointed I have been lately with the human race. Killing animals for no reason, torturing, starving, mutilating and even more things that are so upsetting. God put these wonderful creatures here to share our world. To kill for no reason other then fun is not right. If the giraffe had a gun and could shoot back, then I would call that fair sport, not to kill for the fun of it.

Joanne Thompson

Of course this should be banned! So should people who enjoy taking the lives of other creatures. Trophy hunters are the worst of the worst. True sociopaths.

Rose Miras

Ban trophy hunting
Any hunting of animals is despicable !

Pauline Cousins

All forms of trophy hunting must be banned, as it will have a catastrophic impact on all animal populations. The sooner a ban is put in law the better.

Lisa Reed

Only totally ignorant people would vote no!

Nick Pezzolo

asap that law,i cant hunt hunters so wheres the fun in a equal sport,i cant imagine shooting something in the wild for NO reason other than putting on my wall,or posting what a killer of innocent animals i am like these demons,i love shooting and nature everything but i'd like animals to remain in the wild and thats that.

Annamart Coetzee

Why do anybody want to do trophy hunting – go climb a mountain if you want to accomplish something or plant a tree or whatever but why kill a defenseless animal?

Deb Voigt- Olson

I honestly don't know how anyone can actually kill anything with a gun or an arrow. I only kill things I can step on. This makes me so sick…………

Deb Gardner

WHAT SICK BASTARDS!!!!! Take a damn camera!!!! You can enjoy those pictures far more than a DEAD head on your bloody wall !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Benoit Billon

Oui ce serait une bonne idée de chasser les chasseurs débiles.

David Graham

How about Matt Young , Hunting Hunters?? Love some these bastards guns to backfire in their face

Loon Zelissen

Ik snap echt niet wat er zo leuk en spannend is om zo'n geweldig zachtmoedig dier te doden?!! Ik begrijp sowieso niet waarom deze MONSTERS dieren doden alleen voor de lol. Ik ben geen gewelddadig mens…maar zulke MONSTERS zou ik persoonlijk willen afmaken!! Stelletje MAFKEZEN!!!!! Of nee het zijn LAFAARDS, ik hoop dat ik jullie ooit tegen kom…ergens lekker afgelegen..ik zou jullie dagen laten lijden voordat jullie je laatste adem uit zou mogen blazen van mij..Dus kom maar op als je durft, mijn naam staat er immers bij!

Emmanuel Rey

En voilà une belle bande de connards j'espère qu'un jour on pourra les chasser aussi ces ABRUTIS.
Et en plus ils sont fières.
Bravo.

Connie Keys

Are you kidding are we going to continue to leg Americans, Asians and Russians destroy our heritage no trophy hunting should be allowed at all and monies should be kept out if the hands of unscrupulous governments and safari operators like Nick Nolte in Namiba

Martin Broadbent

Charlotte Merton-Logan What a stupid comment.

Rory Scheepers

all you people are doing is depriving the country of a valuable source of protein and income…stick to your own countries and their own problems. we are happy to hunt and harvest animals for their meat. the money generated from these hunts is what keeps our economy going and creates jobs. why meddle in the affairs of others peoples livelihoods.

Roland Comte

All trophy hunting must be banned. As Louloi Von Siel, it makes me nauseous to look at those pictures and the stupid grin of the hunters;

Patricia Peck Hayes

All these people in these pictures need to die. I voted to ban

Andi Brown

This is atrocious! These are horrible examples of human beings. They have no respect for life, for animals. What gives them the right to take the innocent life of a living breathing animal? It isn't a sport. It's murder! You should be hunted and killed. You don't deserve to exist.

Leanne Lang

All trophy hunting should be banned

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