A 12-year-old trophy hunter has been castigated on social media for shooting a giraffe and other animals on a recent trip to South Africa. Rather than directing invective towards the individual, particularly a minor, Jeff Flocken of The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reflects on the broader issue.
Comment: giraffe & zebra shot as trophies by a 12-year old hunter
BY JEFF FLOCKEN | IFAW | 17 AUGUST 2016
It’s sad any time that an imperiled animal like a giraffe is killed for fun, regardless of who does it.
Giraffes are in serious decline across Africa —It is estimated that their populations have dropped by 40 percent in the last 15 years. The last thing they need is to be killed for anyone’s enjoyment.
All the negative on-line energy focused on this should not be directed at any individual, particularly a minor. We know that the problem is so much larger than any one of these isolated incidents.
These kills were just two of thousands and thousands of animals legally killed for sport annually. This includes an approximate 200,000 animals from threatened species killed for trophies over the last decade.
Trophy hunters need to stop taking the lives of wildlife simply for fun. We are in 2016 and wild animals are facing a multitude of threats to their existence. Killing them for sport just isn’t right.
Jeff Flocken is the North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com