Anti-trophy hunting activists and conservationists are up in arms over pics of players from the Crusaders Super 15 rugby team posing with animals they shot in SA. Pics showing Tom Taylor, George and Sam Whitelock, Ben Funnell and Tyler Bleyendaal posing with zebra, eland, blesbok and gemsbok have made news headlines locally and in New Zealand. The Landmark Foundation of South Africa posted the images on their Facebook page saying the players killed the animals for laughs while the Crusaders chief executive says it legal and in their own time.
According to reports the players went o a hunting trip in April when they played in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein.
“Foundation director Dr Bool Smuts said none of the animals involved were endangered and he expected the hunting was legal.
But his foundation was “against the whole concept of trophy hunting”.
“If it was a biological intervention on a professional basis … for management of species and biodiversity we can understand that,” Smuts said.
“When these people (hunters) come out they want to hunt the thing with the biggest horns, the most dominant males usually because they are the good trophies, so the natural selection is not natural at all.”
And this from the Saders camp.
“Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said some players had gone on a hunting trip in April when the team was in South Africa, playing in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein.
The players had been “performing a perfectly legal activity in their own time”.
“I guess the point is that there are things that all sorts of people do that other people don’t see in the same way, and so everyone is free to behave legally and express their view in a courteous manner,” Riach said. [more at Sydney Morning Herald]
Ya hey..what do you think?