Shocking Video: Young Elephant Gunned Down by American Tourist for ‘Trophy’

Trophy hunters and those who make a living selling hunting trips and accessories like to claim that they kill animals in the name of “conservation” or, patronisingly, to support “natives” – but as this just-breaking PETA US video shows, hunting has nothing to do with respecting wildlife and everything to do with taking sadistic pleasure in needlessly taking lives.

Following an undercover investigation, PETA US has revealed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections to and investments in the trophy hunting industry and obtained video footage of an American trophy hunter who is incapable of making a clean kill, even with coaching from hunting guides, as he fells a young elephant just outside Kruger National Park.

See the shocking footage for yourself, and then take action to help stop elephants, lions, rhinos, Cape buffaloes, and other wonderful, vulnerable animals from being shot in cold blood and dying in agony just to give hunters a sick thrill and a trophy.

Elephant Just Outside National Park Slaughtered by American Trophy Hunter

PETA US obtained video footage of an American trophy hunter attempting to gun down a curious young elephant who had peacefully ambled out of the bush. The hunter takes his first shot, and the elephant falls to his knees and looks straight at the hunting party. He continues to suffer as the Amercian– who paid US$30,000 (around £24,000) for this sick thrill – takes his time. The guides attempt to help him with his aim, and then he shoots the helpless elephant four more times, causing him to rumble in distress. How many more shots were fired and how long the elephant suffered before finally dying is unknown. The hunter later paid US$20,000 (around £16,000) to have the animal’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States.

The American hunter killed the elephant just outside the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa where no hunting is allowed. There are no fences by design, so animals who inadvertently cross the boundary from the park to the reserve are no longer protected. Hunters’ guides often wait for this to happen or track the movements of the elephants in the park so that they will know exactly when the animals are unwittingly putting themselves in harm’s way.

Image shows hunters posing with dead elephant

Trophy Hunting Lining a Top Politician’s Pockets

The secret PETA US investigation has uncovered South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections and investments in the trophy hunting industry.

Footage reveals that Ramaphosa is quietly developing and expanding a trophy hunting property called Diepdrift – stocking it with animals from his own wildlife breeding operation, Phala Phala – and that he owns a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris. In other words, far from “conserving” wildlife, wild animals are brought into this world specifically to be killed for trophies. PETA US recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s managers admitted that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsala and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement. One manager said, “We try to keep the president’s name actually out of the hunting thing because … of all the greenies …. So he wanna spare himself this, how can I say, bad publicity and all of that.”

Killing Wildlife for ‘Sport’

Trophy hunters pay thousands of pounds to shoot animals, including antelopes, baboons, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, and zebras, through Tsala. Earlier this year, a Dutch doctor and his wife slaughtered a buffalo, a bush pig, a kudu, and several impalas during a Diepdrift hunting safari. Hundreds of animals are also killed at Phala Phala by the property manager, and their flesh is sold as exotic game meat.

Image shows a Dutch doctor and his wife with a slaughtered buffalo


Shooting Lions in a Barrel

The animals have no chance of escaping a hunter’s bullet, and no animal is off limits. Tsala conducts lion, elephant, and rhino hunts on other properties in South Africa and also organises leopard hunts in Mozambique and Namibia. (Leopard-hunting permits are difficult to obtain in South Africa.) Like the animals bred at Phala Phala and hunted at Diepdrift, many of the lions hunted by Tsala clients are captive-bred, meaning they are habituated to humans. A video of one of these hunts shows a hunter ambushing a lion who is resting peacefully under a tree, oblivious to the danger. The animal growls and charges only after he is shot and wounded by the hunter. It takes four more shots to kill the lion.

Image shows hunter posing with lion

Cruelty, Not Conservation

Hunters leave animals bleeding from painful wounds, destroy families, drive species to extinction, and then pretend that their bloodlust is “conservation”. Anyone who cares about wildlife wouldn’t pay to preserve animals solely to have living targets to shoot. True conservationists are those who work to keep animals alive.

What You Can Do

All animals are beloved by their mates and offspring, but to hunters, they’re only the sum of their body parts, seen simply as living targets to kill, decapitate, and display on the wall. In the past decade, trophy hunters have imported 2,500 animal parts into the UK, including the heads and skins of cheetahs, elephants, lions, hippos, and zebras. The UK can deter hunters from taking part in the killing of animals by banning imports of such trophies, thereby preventing people from bringing their sick souvenirs home.

You can help wild animals by demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduce a ban without delay.