Kirk Douglas: 'Hunting wild animals was most stupid thing I've ever done'

  • 09/08/2015
Kirk and Michael Douglas (AAP)
Kirk and Michael Douglas (AAP)

Veteran actor Kirk Douglas has confessed his regrets over a wild game hunt in which he killed a leopard and a zebra on a trip to Kenya 50 years ago, and has called for the hunting of wild animals to be stopped.

In a blog post for The Huffington Post, the actor describes his experiences of the wild game hunting trip to Africa, which was documented by a photographer for a book called Great Hunts.

He writes, "Some 50 years ago, I went on my first (and only) wild game hunt - the most stupid thing I've ever done. But, at the time, I was gung-ho, buying all the proper paraphernalia, checking guns and racing off into the wilds of Kenya. I remember being drunk with power as I softly pulled the trigger of my high-powered rifle and watched a leopard, a gazelle, an oryx, a zebra and other defenceless animals fall to the ground."

All the animals Douglas killed were shipped to his home and mounted on his walls, and it is then that he realised how "obscene" his actions were

He adds, "One day I looked up and all my trophies seemed to be staring at me. I realised how obscene it was to kill them. I quickly got rid of all the 'trophies' and tried to forget the sin that I had committed."

The Spartacus star also admits he feels sorry for Dr Walter Palmer, the man who shot and killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, writing, "I feel sorry for Dr Palmer. He is being hunted much like he stalked his prey. His actions were inexcusable and I believe he is certainly paying for them. But he is not alone, many people hunt and kill wild animals for sport. That must be stopped."