PETA condemns trophy hunters

  • 02/08/2015
Cecil (AAP)
Cecil (AAP)

The head of PETA, the world's largest animal rights group has demanded an end to all forms of trophy hunting, which she denounced as a hideous pastime plied by rich, callous thrill seekers.

"You have these sort of coach potato trophy hunters who go over to Africa and they wave a lot of money in front of people," said PETA head Ingrid Newkirk, who told CNN that the animals which become their prey "are basically wheeled out" to be hunted.

"Sometimes, they actually will shoot a lion or rhino who's sleeping. It's very common for them to shoot at night because they can then (use a spotlight to) blind the animal who's come in to eat," Newkirk told the cable network.

And she painted an unflattering portrait of big game hunters.

"It's ugly Americans and Euro-trash and we have to get rid of that," said the English-born animal rights activist.

"We don't want to be tainted by that, any of us, who have more money than sense," said Newkirk, who has lived for many years in the United States.

"They could give that money to villages, they could start programs, they could do something useful - but they don't," she said.

"They give to it a safari company probably owned by a couple of people, often white, and they get the money. Locals don't get it, they discard the carcasses, so they're not feeding anybody. They're not subsidising anybody's village life," she said. "It's bunk.

She made her remarks amid global outrage over the shooting death last month of Cecil, a protected lion from a preserve in Zimbabwe.

The beloved big cat was considered an iconic attraction for tourists at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

There's now reports that Cecil's brother Jericho has met the same fate.

American hunter Walter Palmer, used a bow and arrow to shoot Cecil, which was tracked for a second day before being shot dead.

Newkirk joined a chorus of outraged people from across the world calling for Palmer's extradition to face prosecution in Zimbabwe.

"I think he should face the music," she said.

"He's a coward. He should go back to Zimbabwe and stand trial," she said.

"I want him answerable for his crimes, and I want these kinds of crimes committed by trophy hunters to stop."