The ‘repulsive’ offer comes at a time when South Africa is grappling with a mutant COVID crisis, and both South Africa and Zimbabwe are on the Government’s “red-list” of 33 COVID hotspots.
A British hunting firm has been encouraging hunters to travel to South Africa to shoot ‘plentiful’ endangered animals despite the coronavirus pandemic
News outlet Sunday People reports that Take Aim Safaris owner Carl Knight sent an email to 3,000 clients across the globe encouraging them to take part in what he describes as a legal, honest event.
The British trophy-hunting boss wrote in his email: “Big elephant and trophy buffalo + hippo, croc are plentiful. The areas are well-rested, the animal movement is fantastic.
“I have quota available on the big cats: leopard and lion plus elephant bulls at unbeatable prices.”
The offer comes at a time when it’s currently illegal to travel from the UK for leisure.
In addition, South Africa is grappling with a mutant COVID crisis, and both South Africa and Zimbabwe are on the Government’s “red-list” of 33 COVID hotspots.
Despite the critical situation, Surrey born Knight, who now lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two sons, is offering a 21-day package that can cost up to $1,800 a day (£1,300) excluding hunting fees.
According to him, hunters have the chance to take home an elephant trophy for $14,700 – around £10,600 – plus hunting fees.
Lion trophies can be claimed for $20,000 (£14,500) and buffalo and leopard for $5,000 each (£3,612).
‘Hunting provides conservation’
Conservationists reveal that the number of elephants in Africa has dwindled from around 26 million in pre-colonial times to 400,000 today.
Lion numbers in the wild in Africa have also decreased to around 24,000 since 1994.
However, Knight when questioned about the receding animal population told the news outlet: “The numbers are prolific. In South Africa we have over 20,000,000 wild animals bred and conserved here. The birth rate per annum is around 3,000,000.
“The money generated through hunting provides conservation.”
World’s sickest so-called sport
Animal campaigners and conservationists have blasted Knight for his “repulsive” business and also called for him to be stripped of his British citizenship.
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting, who brands the trophy hunting industry as the world’s sickest so-called ‘sport’ said: “The US government says lions could be gone from the wild by 2050.
“Yet Carl Knight is still selling lucrative hunts in these and other endangered animals to make money for himself and put a sick smile on the face of those who enjoy killing animals just for fun.
“He should be stripped of his British citizenship for his role in slaughtering huge numbers of some of the world’s most threatened species.
“He openly boasts about having personally gone on hundreds of big game hunts and he happily poses for photos with the bodies of lions, elephants, and leopards he’s shot.”
Damian Aspinall of animal charity The Aspinall Foundation said: “Trophy hunting is truly repulsive. It has to stop.
“We should be doing all we can to help these endangered animals to thrive in the wild. It’s our moral duty.”
Knight on the other hand told Sunday People: “You are not exposing illegal activities, you are attacking honest businesses and harming the livelihood of honest people. You may not like hunting, but that does not make hunters criminals.
“We are honest people that have broken no laws.”
He added: “Locals in safari areas all live on hunting.
“You’re talking hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“If there was no income provided through hunting there would be no animals.
“The locals would kill them all in favour of crops or cattle.”
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