Just months after the infamous Walter Palmer shot and killed the beloved lion Cecil, right outside a national park in Zimbabwe, a legal massacre is currently taking place in South Africa.
Specifically, a week-long hunt began earlier this week in South Africa during which rich foreign hunters will hunt baboons, antelope, wildebeest and other animals.
The animals are not shot in their natural roaming environments. They are scared and forced to run out of the bush and along a narrow path lined with elevated, wood structures from which hunters stand and literally take pot shots as the terrified animals run for their lives.
Several animal rights activists have travelled to Braam Farm where the shooting is taking place in an effort to stop the hunt. One group, Ban Animal Trading South Africa (“BAT”), described on their Facebook page that the scene is devastating.
“‘The Drivers [those who beat drums in order to scare the animals down the path] are driving these terrified Wild Animals out of the bush and down a specially cleared 2 [mile] stretch of land where 600 platforms have been erected for these lazy BLOOD THIRSTY hunters to sit and shoot. We have megaphones and are shouting, we have sirens on loudspeakers and nothing will stop these MURDERERS who have no heart, no compassion and are made up of pure evil.”
By noon on the first day, BAT reported that 18 animals had been slaughtered.
It is believed that a total of 13 hunters, mostly from Belgium and Holland, are taking part in the hunt. Many of these hunters are accompanied by their girlfriends and wives, who simply sit and watch their partners shoot the defenseless animals.
Ainsly Hay of the NSPCA, South Africa’s national animal charity – comparable to the United States’ ASPCA – described the horrific scene and observed that some of the animals would suffer lengthy deaths as oftentimes they are shot and continue to run away.
Hay observes that, “These animals are going to be terrified, they are chased through the bush, they will be scared, running together, they are moving targets, it is . . . horrendous.”
As publicity around the death of Cecil, and the fact that Palmer is returning to his dental practice this week, continues to swirl, news of the legal mass hunting in South Africa is enraging groups and individuals on an international level.