Monday, May 22, 2017

Trophy Hunter Killed; Little Girl Snatched

A well-known trophy hunter, Theunis Botha, was killed in a violent encounter with an elephant herd in Zimbabwe last week.  Botha, who owned a South African outfitting company that specialized in "hunting leopards and lions with hounds", was walking in the bush with companions when they crossed paths with a herd of breeding elephants.  Perhaps recognizing their enemy, the elephants charged the group.  Botha began firing, but an elephant surprised him by charging from Botha's side.  This elephant lifted his attacker in the air with his trunk, but was shot to death by Botha's companions.  The elephant collapsed, fell on Botha, and crushed him.   Botha's death occurred on Good Luck Farm near Hwange National Park.  An appropriate end to one less predator.

Another animal-human interaction that made the news:  a young girl was snatched from a Richmond, Vancouver dock by a large California sea lion yesterday.  The girl was perched on the edge of the dock with her back to the water when the sea lion admirers were feeding grabbed her clothes and pulled her into the water. A video shows the on-lookers encouraging the large sea lion to come closer; at one point the little girl leaned over the edge and the animal lunged toward her. Wildlife experts say the sea lion probably thought her white dress was food.   A relative immediately jumped in the water and pulled the girl out.  She was unharmed. The girl and her companions did two things wrong: she turned her back in proximity to the large male animal, and her group was feeding him.  Perhaps a valuable lesson learned.