Trophy Hunting

A dentist was recently in the news for killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. The problem is that this dentist isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last. Trophy killing seems to be in our nature.

A study published in Science 21 August 2015 titled “The unique ecology of human predators” suggest that

humans function as an unsustainable “super predator”, which – unless additionally constrained by managers – will continue to alter ecological and evolutionary processes globally.

We are the only known predator to regularly kill the largest of our prey, which, in the long run, is not sustainable. The largest are the breeding population — kill the parents and you kill their future offspring.

As Science Insights said about this study:

There are three key insights. First, the hunting of large prey is deeply embedded in our identity and remains a powerful ecological and evolutionary force. Second, the ability to target mostly adult individuals across marine and terrestrial prey groups makes us unique among all other predators. And third, we have the unusual ability to analyze and consciously adjust our behavior to minimize deleterious consequences. This final point, I believe, will prove critical for our continued coexistence with viable wildlife population on land and in the sea.

Do us all a favor. If you have a need to hunt, just hunt for food, and target only juveniles. Let the “big buck” go so he can continue to generate the species. No more trophies, no more bodies mounted on the walls. Our cave-man days should be in the past.

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