A tragic incident involving an elephant and a hunter may have just reignited the debate around the morality of animal hunting.
Argentinian hunter Jose Monzalvez, 46, was with another countryman and three Namibians at a private wildlife area about 43 miles northwest of Kalkfeld, Namibia, when he was trampled by an elephant and killed as a result, The Independent reports. As the group looked for a spot to aim at the animals and shoot, one of the elephants charged at the men, killing Monzalvez, an oil company employee.
The victim had a hunting permit on him.
While few details regarding the incident and the circumstances surrounding it are available, this death reminds us of something similar that happened earlier in 2017.
South African hunter Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a group of hunters in Zimbabwe when they found a group of elephants, including some that were pregnant. As the man shot at the animals as they charged at him, one grabbed him by its trunk. A member of the group then shot the elephant, causing it to collapse and fall over Botha. He died as a result of this incident.
While the deaths of both of these men were tragic and preventable, many people believe hunters like Botha and Monzalvez end up falling prey to the subject they're after thanks to “karma.”
While this may sound insensitive, it's important to note that we mustn't ignore the moral arguments against animal hunting. Still, there are others who also make the case that, at times, allowing a certain amount of hunting to take place is actually better for the ecosystem as a whole. This may lead many people to justify the behavior while ignoring the moral questions regarding wild animal hunting raised by animal rights advocates.
What we must have is an open and honest discussion about this topic so that we may find a better solution to the hunting problem.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters Thomas Mukoya