“When I look at an elephant, I feel one thing: awe,” Liz Bennett writes in an email soliciting funds for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Awe at their massive size, beauty, and intelligence. It hurts to imagine a world without them. And I’m guessing you feel the same way, Robert.” The Vice President of Species Conservation is not wrong . . .
Elephants are awesome. I approve of her org’s efforts to stop poachers. Only it reminds me of the joke about the drunk guy looking for his car keys under a streetlamp because the light’s better.
I’m a firm believer that licensed elephant hunting is the best way to preserve and protect the species. Assuming at least some of the money from elephant hunting (including legal ivory sales) goes to the native population, or at least the meat, the practice incentivizes people living with the creatures to protect them as a valuable resource.
Somehow I don’t think Ms. Bennett agrees. Or could agree publicly if she did.
Anyway, as much as I support elephant hunting, I don’t think I could pull the trigger on one. Not because I’d be worried about political correctness or becoming pachyderm toe-jam. Because I’d have a hard time killing something I love, admire and respect. (It’s a short list but elephants are on it.)
Could you shoot an elephant?