Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hunting the wild

Scott Van Zyl was hunting crocodiles by the Limpopo, and apparently they found him first. Three were killed, and DNA testing verified that one at least contained Van Zyl.

I'm sorry for him and his family. Closure is a good thing, but I wish they hadn't killed the crocs.

Not that I have any fondness for the creatures. If the last tiger on Earth were killing people in my neighborhood, I'd join the posse to go kill it. But Scott's case is a little different.

I want no wild threats to my home, and will be as thorough as I need to be to make sure of that.

A farmer who wants to harvest a steer or three wants as little fuss as possible.

A subsistence hunter needs food. If there's something dangerous out there, he would prefer that it either be elsewhere or be made incapable of harming him and his tribe. Man-eating bears interfere with the hunting he needs to do to keep his family alive.

A deer hunter wants the challenge of outwitting a deer on its native ground. He's not looking for danger, just the venison and the challenge. Similarly with geese, turkey, etc. If a pack of wolves started stalking hunters instead of just spooking deer, I think most of us would go along with relocating them--either far away or to the tanner's. Man-eating wolves would interfere with the sport.

But a crocodile hunter is hunting it precisely because it is dangerous. Likewise a lion hunter, or a grizzly hunter--only a jerk would go to a lion farm to shoot a quasi-tame lion. If the hunter has a very bad encounter with something wild, that just emphasizes the wildness and danger for the next hunter. Killing the dangerous animals to make it safe again interferes with the sport.

I wonder what Scott would have thought about it. I'm pretty sure his wife and kids wanted closure.

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