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Opinion

Readers React: Animals belong alive in the wild, not dead as a trophy on someone’s wall

US to allow elephant trophy hunting
An elephant in the Gonarezhou National Park in southeast Zimbabwe in 2015.
(Xinhua / TNS)

To the editor: Hanging an animal’s head on a wall is macabre. It suffered. It had a life. It had a mate, and young. If an alpha, killing it eliminated a blood line.

As founder and president of an international nonprofit dedicated to rescuing baby rhino orphans, I know first-hand the devastation wrought by poachers and hunters. The rhino is a benign animal. Killing it is easy. Shooting an elephant is likewise not a hero’s game.

Hunting is a throwback to when masculinity “needed” to be tested by confronting “a wild animal.”

Similarly anachronistic, traditional healers once used slivers of exotic animals. Yet irrational demand for rhino horns — which has zero curative power — today annihilates herds. Poachers kill three rhinos every day.

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Yes, California, lead the way and pass a ban on the possession of hunting trophies. Animals belong in the wild alive, not on a wall dead.

Helena Kriel, Calabasas

The writer is founder and president of BabyRhinoRescue.org.

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To the editor: SB 1487 would only encourage poaching.

Your editorial says “many conservation groups” oppose trophy hunting and disparages the notion that hunters’ money funds game preservation efforts. These same groups oppose hunting of all kinds, despite the reality that funds from hunters built the National Wildlife Refuge system in our country. It is a proven model.

The sad fact is that eliminating the jobs of guiding hunters and the money that goes toward preserving game for that purpose will leave skilled native African hunters with only one choice for making money — poaching. It is the poaching of ivory and various body parts used in foreign medicines that truly threatens African wildlife.

SB 1487 is another example of an over-the-top effort to control people outside California that will elicit another over-the-top reaction from those most affected.

Rich Holland, Aliso Viejo

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