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WATCH: 'Hit it between the eyes' – elephants charge at hunters after one shot down

17 October, 07:47 PM

WARNING: This video may upset viewers.

A video that shows an elephant being hunted in the Nakabolelwa Conservancy in Namibia has surfaced online.

According to Namibia-based Corné Kruger, a qualified big game hunter, the video was shot three or four years ago. "I don't know why it only surfaced now," he said.

Kruger said elephant hunting was a sensitive issue but a "legal and sustainable" practice in Namibia.

The video shows two men with rifles aiming at a herd of elephants at a distance.

One of the men can be heard saying: "Hit it between the eyes," before they both open fire.

Kruger said the elephant that was shot was a bull.

"There is a small quota of elephants in the area and we only hunt two elephants a year," he told News24.

While game hunting may be frowned upon, it is also legal in SA and is guided by laws and regulations.

Benefits for communities

South African Hunters CEO Fred Camphor said each of the nine provinces has its own regulations on hunting.

"Any local citizen who has been declared competent and who legally owns an appropriate rifle may hunt those species available for hunting in terms of the applicable legislation and regulations in the relevant province," Camphor told News24.

"However, any foreigner may only hunt if accompanied by a registered professional hunter with registration in the province or country where the hunt is undertaken," he said.

Kruger, who owns Omujeve Hunting Safaris, said hunting had financially benefitted the communities in the vicinity of the Nakabolelwa Conservancy "hugely".

"We employ 12 people from the community, some of them as game guards," he said.

"The funds go to conservation and fund anti-poaching units," Kruger said.

Camphor added that in South Africa the animals hunted vary from province to province and hunting seasons also apply.

Poaching

"You could fairly freely accept that large carnivores (lion, leopard, hyena) elephant, rhino, and hippo may not be hunted without special permits anywhere in South Africa," he said.

"Some species may only be hunted with special permits because they are scarce and protected: Bontebok, black wildebeest, mountain zebra, to name but a few."

Hunting becomes poaching when legal permission is not obtained.

In the Kruger National Park alone, a total of 58 elephants were poached between January 1 and August 31, 2018.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, there are approximately 415 000 African elephants in the wild and the number is sharply declining due to the international ivory trade.

This year, 508 rhino were poached, compared to 691 for the same period in 2017. The critically endangered animals are poached for their horns.

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