Ron Thompson, a Zimbabwean hunter who killed over 5,000 elephants, hundreds of buffaloes and “many more” wild animals in his 50-year career, recently declared himself “totally unrepentant” about his resume, claiming that it’s conservationists who are the problem.
The 77-year-old retired hunter recently sat down with English newspaper The Independent and said that he was never driven by bloodlust, as many would assume, but by the knowledge that animal populations must be controlled to make sure they “don’t increase beyond the capacity of their habitat”. He claimed that despite the fraudulent lies spread by so-called conservationists, to him shooting thousands of animals dead was only a job.
“I didn’t have any sentiment,” Thompson told The Independent. “I’m totally unrepentant, a hundred – ten thousand – times over for any of the hunting I’ve done because that’s not the problem. The problem is we’ve got a bunch of so-called experts from the West telling us what to do. I’m a trained university ecologist – I must surely know something about this.”
On his official website, Thompson boasts about killing 5,000 elephants, 800 buffaloes, 60 lions, 50 hippos, 40 leopards, and “many more”. It’s clear that his main focus was hunting elephants, but the Zimbabwean claims that he didn’t contribute to the declining number of the great African beast. In fact, he doesn’t even consider to in danger of becoming extinct.
“The African elephant is nowhere near extinct,” Thompson said. “People who say this are animal-right-ist NGOs who ask for money and tell lies to get it. When you have a healthy population you must ensure they don’t increase beyond the capacity of their habitat.”
“It was a thrill to me, to be very honest,” Ron Thompson admitted. “Some people enjoy hunting just as much as other people abhor it. I happened to enjoy it.”
According to the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, the number of African elephants has plummeted from over 1.3 million in the 1980s to around 400,000 today – a 70% drop in population. His theory about habitat capacity doesn’t really hold up either, as the animals habitat is bound to get smaller as human activity expands across the continent. So we’re going to have to keep killing them as we encroach on their homes, I guess…
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting, claims that “management culling” is often used as a cover for trophy hunting in Africa and threatens to push endangered species like the elephant to the point of no return.