British trophy hunters have been slaying ‘at risk’ zebras in South Africa before posting photographs of the slaughtered animals online, it has been revealed.
The grinning tourists share the sickening images to social media after embarking on expensive ‘hunt’ safaris across the vast African plains.
One ‘trophy hunter’, Andy Denson, who is believed to be a tour operator, posed with a zebra he appeared to have shot and killed in an image posted to Facebook, the Mirror reported.
Dozens of sick images of hunters with fallen zebras have also been featured on the ‘gallery’ pages of trophy hunting safari websites.
Andy Denson (pictured) poses with a zebra he appeared to have shot and killed on a ‘hunting’ tour in South Africa
British tourist Peter Livesey is among those who appear on the Huntershill Safari website. He poses with a hunting rifle in one hand, and his other resting on his kill.
Taking to the guestbook of the website, he wrote: ‘Never had so much fun with my pants on!!!’.
Despite this, the plains zebra is not listed under the ‘buck available for hunting’ on theHuntershill Safari website – though it does note ‘tailor-made packages’ are available.
Wealthy tourists pay up to $9500 (£7730) for safari trips, which last as long as ten days and guarantee a number of kills on a 55,000 acre ‘game farm’.
Zebras were added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s ‘red list’ of endangered species three years ago, after the population reduced by 24 per cent in 14 years.
In 2016, the IUCN estimated the global population of the ‘near threatened’ plains zebra to be between 150,000 and 250,000. It is now believed to be as little as34,979, the Mirror reported.
But despite the dwindling numbers, it is not illegal to hunt the animal on the South African plains.
Government officials are, however, now attempting to ban the import of endangered body parts to the UK. This move would also stop the import of exotic furs and rugs.
Minister for International Wildlife Zac Goldsmith said: ‘I look at the photos and it turns my stomach.’
In August, Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds hit out at ‘cruel and cowardly’ British tourists who pay thousands to go on African trophy hunts and shoot animals including elephants, zebras and giraffes.
She took to Twitter to slam the hunters – who can choose to kill an animal from a list of 65 species including £1,666 extra to shoot a giraffe and £6,422 for a hippo.
She said: ‘Can you imagine the hunters below fighting these majestic beasts without needing to hide behind a rock and without needing to use a massive gun?
This article was first published by The Mail Online on 29 September 2019.
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