I am on my soap box yet again….
This image has shocked South Africa and the world and has prompted people to petition the South African Government to ban Melissa Bachman from ever entering the country again, let alone hunting our incredibly beautiful wild animals. (there are other images of her with a zebra and buck which she killed but I simply could not have them on my blog)
While I loathe to give this heartless woman even a small bit of additional publicity, I feel compelled to add my voice to the almost 300 000 people who find her actions equally as abhorrent as I do. The online petition can be found here–please take a few minutes and sign the petition to stop this woman from ever being allowed back into South Africa to hunt. American (and others) big game hunters pay enormous amounts of money to hunt animals in South Africa and there are game farms where the animals are bred specifically for this purpose. That in itself is barbaric, and worthy of a blog post of its own , but in this woman’s case, the animal was rounded up and ” placed ” in the area for her to kill. Where is the challenge in that? Where is the challenge when she uses a rifle with an enormous scope to give her a hugely unfair advantage…there is no skill in that.
My father used to hunt (without fancy rifles and scopes) and while I did accompany him on a couple of trips, it was not something I enjoyed and I certainly do not approve of hunting for sport now. He would only kill enough animals to give him meat and skins he could use…no part of the animal was wasted and there was no sport in it. This hideous woman’s pride is evident for all to see and it is sickening.
This month has been a particularly bad one for wild animals in Soutth Africa..about a week ago, the Western Black Rhino was declared officially extinct due to constant and relentless poaching for their horns, which is allegedly an aphrodisiac much sought after by Chinese men with erectile issues. The horn is all the poachers take , and the rest of the animal is left to rot or be eaten by scavengers. It is a huge problem and a fight which the game rangers have sadly lost. I remember as a young child wondering how on earth an animal could become extinct (we were learning about the dodo at the time) and I never ever imagined that I would see animals become extinct in my lifetime. It does not bear thinking about and if we don’t act now, our grandchildren will be learning about these animals in books because they had all been hunted or poached to extinction.
The biggest problem is that the Government of South Africa condones this method of hunting because of the incredible amount of revenue it brings in…what I find so strange is that they have not considered that this is a finite source of income …what happens when there are no more animals left to hunt? Oops….game parks bring in even larger amounts of revenue than hunting does and it is sustainable as long as the animals are protected from hunters and poachers. Are they truly that short sighted? Surely someone has studied the basics of economics and can see that the short term gains are exactly that?
I am positive that this petition will serve its purpose and I am heartened by the amount of people who have come together to share their disgust in this woman’s behaviour. It has also reminded me once again of the undeniable power of social media….alone, my voice means very little but combined with the 300 000 other people, the Government HAS to listen and do something.
Please also take the time to read this letter to Melissa Bachman by a South African journalist and blogger. It is extremely well written and sums up my feelings precisely!