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Hunter Being Killed by Elephant Was Not a Tragedy

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

On Wednesday, an individual named Graydon posted a response to a commentary I published here nearly three years ago headlined “Hunter Killed by Buffalo in Zimbabwe.”

“Hunters who obey the laws, who are the vast, vast majority, are in fact helping more animals than they kill,” Graydon wrote.

That, of course, is a nonsensical, self-serving rationalization rooted in arrogance. Brutally slaughtering animals is in no way altruistic.

Graydon would have us believe that Owain Lewis — the professional hunter who was killed in Zimbabwe by the buffalo he was helping to murder — and other serial killers like him, “help save these magnificent animals from extinction.”

One cannot be the problem and the solution. It’s an asinine argument.

According to Graydon, “Much of the money from gun, hunting gear, and hunting fees go to wildlife reservations and funds for endangered animals.”

Let’s be honest, the only reason hunters don’t want to see “magnificent animals” go extinct is because they want to maintain a supply of trophies.

At the time of his death in June 2012, Lewis was working for a sinister operation called Chifuti Hunting Safaris.

The same day that Graydon posted his ridiculous response to my commentary about Lewis’ death, Chifuti Hunting Safaris lost another member of its commercial death squad.

Tim Danklef and Dave Fulson from a Dallas-based company called Safari Classics, which represents Chifuti Hunting Safaris, posted a comment on a website called that reads, in part: “It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).”

Huffington Post UK report points out that “it is not known if the animal was injured or killed in the incident.”

In 2012, Paul Smith, of Chifuti Hunting Safaris, told The Daily Telegraph that Lewis’ death “is a tragedy.” On Wednesday, Danklef and Fulson used the same word to describe Gibson’s death.

“What is tragic,” I wrote in my 2012 commentary, “is that magnificent creatures suffer violent deaths at the hands of savage men seeking spiritual and financial reward.”

Neither Lewis nor Gibson was an altruist. Neither was acting in the interest of another species, as Graydon would have us believe. Neither’s death was tragic.

Each was a heartless butcher driven by bloodlust and greed.


  1. Kelly Schueman wrote:

    I’m in Costa Rica where they have banned hunting. He said because they have intact ecosystems. WITH PREDATORS!, they have had no overpopulation, and the predators have not been a problem.

    Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  2. Dan Flowers wrote:

    David, I wish you would allow posting of photos on your comments section.

    Friday, June 19, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

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