A horrifying video surfaced last week showing National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre struggling to kill an African savanna elephant in Botswana. LaPierre’s pursuit of a trophy, documented (though never aired) for an NRA-sponsored series, ended with an elephant collapsed in agony while the hunter repeatedly failed to deliver the kill shot at close range. After we have spent more than a year held hostage by a virus that emerged due to humanity’s exploitation of the natural world, we should have learned our lesson: Nature is not meant to be conquered. Screen grab of National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre killing an elephant in Botswana. Video from The New Yorker. Trophy hunters continue to claim that they promote conservation, even as they slaughter imperiled species in need of meaningful protection. There is no conclusive scientific evidence, however, that trophy hunting benefits conservation programs or significantly drives economic development. In fact, these majestic animals are worth far more alive than dead. They capture carbon naturally out of the environment, which helps to fight climate change, and, according to research by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a living elephant generates more than $1.6 million in ecotourism opportunities over the course of a lifetime. A separate economic analysis of eight African countries found that overall tourism, which relies heavily on wildlife resources in those nations, contributes as much as 5% to their gross domestic product (GDP), while the total economic contribution of trophy hunters does not exceed 0.03% of GDP. Responsible photo safaris, by…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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