WTF, Springboks?

2013-11-27 11:23

A mere week after the public outcry regarding the infamous Melissa Bachman lion-hunt, images of Springbok rugby players posing with wild animals they had presumably shot and killed have emerged.

Sport24 put a gallery together, titled ‘Springboks go WILD!’ combining hunting photographs with a few shots of players getting up, close and personal with live creatures in rehabilitation programmes or wildlife centres. 

The images were all taken from the various players’ Twitter streams, including those of Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw and Victor Matfield.

Here are a few of the controversial images:

While many would argue that hunting holds some merit, especially if, at least, the meat is processed and eaten afterward, a number of readers responded to the gallery with shock.

Hansie Crook - This is said this is very sad. Killing animals for the fun of it.

Soyama Sneh Mbashe -  Very disappointed...this is just for fun??? Besides the beauty of diversity in this country these beautiful animals are what makes it an even more amazing country to be in.

Paul Stuart Buckby -  I don't get it, at all.

Quentin Leeds -  And we have just had an outcry about the American Woman and her hunting exploits. We shoot ourselves in the foot again.

Chris In Oz - Barbaric neanderthals, all of them. And it's interesting it's all just Bulls players.

Innocent Nkata - Inconsiderate! What's so cool about prolonging the pain of a shot animal just to take photos? What's the point of parading it to the world? Just to prove you are a bunch of butchers on your day off? If this was in the 'civilized US' there would be an uproar. But because this is 'wild Africa' it is okay!

These responses were, however, countered by a few in favour of hunting as sport: 

Zane Blignaut - Hunting is legal, hunting humans is not! so what you have to say is just your opinion! I personally dont hunt, not my thing, but I have friends who do hunt, and who grew up hunting. there are hunting seasons and there are rules at the reserves to control the hunting, whereby they ensure the number of animals on the farm. Its a business and it would be bad for business to kill all of a certain species! hunting provides the money for conservation, it might not be every ones favorite thought but its a system that provides the best outcome!

Herman Steytler -  Chris without the hunting industry the country would lose a massive revenue stream and I can assure you that most species will survive because of hunting. It makes money for the farmers so they will make sure of the species survival so that they can continue making money out of it. But in every industry you do get the crooked ones which will hunt animals to extinction. Luckily they are a huge minority!

The hunting industry has always been a lucrative one for South Africa, drawing thousands of tourists on a yearly basis. However, a recent report revealed that there seems to have been a sharp decline in hunting tourism over the past year.

According to the Professional Hunters' Association of SA (PHASA), South Africa made R90 million less in 2012 than the previous year from tourists who came to the country to hunt. The findings showed that tourists who visited for hunting purposes contributed R811m to the economy in 2012, compared to R901m in 2011.

What do you think about the whole debacle? Do you find images of national heroes posing with wild animals they had shot and killed disturbing? Or do you think the controversy surrounding hunting is being blown out of proportion? Tell us in the comment section below or send us your thoughts to

Read more on:    travel  |  travel south africa

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