Magnificent Elephant ‘Killed’ by German ‘Trophy Hunter’ in Zimbabwe

Stephen Wiggins Article, IWB Led Petition 7 Comments

PETA Germany Petition to Stop The Import of Nkombo’s Tusks – Sign and Share

Justice for Massive Elephant Murdered by Hunter – Animal Petitions – Sign and Share

Petition UK Government to propose a resolution to CITES (CoP17) for the removal of exemptions of African elephant populations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from CITES Appendix I listing. At the moment African elephant populations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are currently only CITES Appendix II listed.


Picture: Courtesy of The Telegraph – Nkombo the elephant was killed in a hunt organised by SSG Safaris close to Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park

So here we are again, looking at a ‘proud’ Trophy Hunter and the recently departed creature they have chosen to kill (for the pleasure of killing).

What is the justification for taking this magnificent elephant. Well of course, a ‘legal’ permit was obtained via SSG Safari and all those humans in the process were suitably paid.

Why was the elephant (named as Nkombo) slected and killed?

Well Nkombo was in the wrong place at the wrong time it seems. But the hunting party’s ‘concern’ for their actions are clearly expressed when questioned why; Nkombo was just too old to be spared apparently:

The ‘professional hunter’ Nixon Dzingai, who led the hunt, told The Telegraph the elephant (they mean Nkombo) had arrived unexpectedly one morning towards the end of the German’s trip, close to Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park:

Apparently, the ‘professional hunting party’  “had not realised the size of his [Nkombo’stusks until it was too late” – I am not sure I believe that, what about you? I think all concerned were overcome with the compulsion to kill and ‘claim’ those tusks from their rightful owner, Nkombo. I might be wrong, but I doubt it.

We did not have to stalk the elephant it just showed up at 7.30 in the morning, before the heat. I was so surprised when we saw how the horns [sic]. My client did not ask for this, he just wanted an elephant.” Well how fortunate for the ‘hunters’ poor Nkombo wandered up on them and saved the ‘hunters’ from some tiresome ‘stalking’ nonsense.

Nixon Dzingai defended the hunt as “legitimate” however, pointing to the age of the elephant:

I estimate this one was 60 years-old,” he said. “Anyone could see it was a very old elephant” – so Nkombo must have ‘deserved ’ to die at man’s behest for being too old then, rather than nature being allowed to take its course with Nkombo, whatever that ‘outcome’ might be?

How does this killing of Nkombo contribute to conserving the dwindling wild population of the African elephant?

There is little evidence to support the myth that Trophy Hunting contributes much of anything to conservation or local communities that ‘facilitate it.’ Less than 3% of the Trophy Hunting industry’s income trickles down to any sort of ‘local’ level, the rest is pocketed by the ‘entrepreneurs’ that facilitate the industry and government’s general coffers.

If these so-called hunter’s profess to care about conservation, why not just pay money to real conservation projects? Why pay to kill the very thing they so want us to believe they care so much about?

The only consolation I can muster right now is that the more Trophy Hunting and its self-deluded rhetoric are scattered out there, the more it will be blown away on the wind – its dry and withering  ‘mantra’ has no substantial underpinnings in reality (“Nkombo was too old!?“).

For those seeking to profit from Trophy Hunting, the consequences can be quite substantial – “Zimbabwe hunter says [he’s] ruined by Cecil’s death,” news24, 15 October 2015.

Theo Bronkhorst, the Zimbabwean hunter accused of failing to stop the killing of Cecil the lion said on 15 October 2015 that his family and business had been destroyed amid the outcry that followed the lion’s death and so, the charges against him should be dropped.

The national parks agency said in July that Bronkhorst could not work as a professional hunter, after cancelling his licence.

Perhaps Dr. Walter Palmer and his ilk will meet a similar fate/justice?

Do I/we have sympathy? Well not much – Find a more ethical way to make a living (or gain ‘entertainment’) that does not involve the dubious ‘illegal’ or even ‘legal’ exploitation of animals for ‘pleasure.’

How can ‘we’ help protect these threatened species?
More Expensive Hunting Permits

The suggestion (in The Telegraph article) that upping a given permit’s price could just serve to enrich the ‘facilitators’ even more, not making one jot of difference to protecting and conserving the wildlife the hunters seek to kill. Less permits is the answer, preferably none, but for professional animal management reasons when independently, scientifically proven as necessary. No such ‘permit’ should be for “re-sale” to ‘amateur enthusiast’ to ‘enjoy.’

Increase CITES Protection

EU Resolutions to CoP17, due for submission by April 2016

Ban Importation of Trophies

There are reports that Germany is considering prohibiting the import from Zimbabwe of Nkombo’s tusks amid the growing global outrage over the (as yet unidentified) German national’s ‘legal’ hunt. Germany’s conservation agency said it had in the past refused entry for animals killed in trophy hunts and would not hesitate to do so in this case if the hunt had infringed German wildlife regulations.

Conservationists believe that Nkombo migrated north from South Africa’s Kruger National Park into Zimbabwe before it was killed. If confirmed, the hunt would be classed differently because the animal had crossed state borders and the trophy import would be banned, Germany said.

However, the EU needs to do much more after its recent failure to act and needs to revisit the situation as a matter of urgency in light of this latest atrocity.

Increase anti-poaching Resources and Enforcement

Despite the recent high profile ivory-poacher’s arrest and treaties signed between China and the US, much more progress is needed of course and continued vigilance.



The Daily Telegraph, Melanie Hall, Berlin, and Peta Thornycroft and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg, 16 Oct 2015:

Germany may block imports of tusks from giant elephant shot by hunter in Zimbabwe

Biggest elephant killed in Afrcia for almost 30 years brings back memories of Cecil the lion


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