With World Lion Day and World Elephant Day just over, and the recent news of the killings of Cecil the Lion, and Delta’s (along with other airlines) new policy of not transporting big game animal trophies, I thought it pertinent to talk about shooting animals.
I shot animals in Africa.
I defend shooting animals in Africa. I think shooting animals all over the world is a great thing. Allowing people to shoot big game animals brings hundreds of millions of dollars from tourist dollars into countries a year. It’s big business. Let me show you.
I shot this warthog on the plains of the Maasai Mara. It was quite easy. Our driver was great at spotting animals for us to shoot.
I shot these flamingos in flight from a helicopter as we flew over the Rift Valley.
In the early dawn it’s easy to shoot animals. They are all feeding on the grasses after spending the night trying to survive from predators.
I shot this group of water buffalo from a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. After shooting animals on the plains in the rising sun, you’d think I had got my fill. But you can never get enough of shooting animals when you are in Africa.
I shot these lions having sex in a shaded area on the Mara during sunset. We were on the hunt for lions for a couple of hours before we got a call over the radio that a lion couple had been found. We raced over to see these two lions on what is referred to as their “honeymoon”. So I shot them while they were in the throws of passion. Happy honeymoon hump day you two.
I shot a whole family of baboons Because look how cute they are. Especially that little one.
And I had to shoot this baby elephant playing with its mom. How you could not?! I needed this baby elephant ‘trophy’ to bring back home to share with everyone.
If you haven’t guessed by now, by ‘shooting’ I mean ‘photographing’ – which is the ONLY way you should ever ‘shoot’ an animal – WITH A CAMERA!
Actually in Kenya, where I took all these photos, they are very adamant that you referring to it as “photographing animals” and never “shooting animals”. (And yes, I was corrected many times, and now, anytime I go to say “shooting” when referring to an animals I stop and correct myself).
These photographic trophies are better than any skin or head of an animal.
If countries keep allowing big game hunting, and people keep paying to do it, soon there will be none left to see. Seeing an animal in the wild, in its natural habitat, is unlike any experience. Riding a horribly abused elephant is nothing compared to having a wild curiously try to steal your camera out of your jeep. (PS: All elephants you ride go through horrible abuse you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy).
There is a thrill to being around wild, untamed, dangerous creatures that cannot compare to having your selfie with a drugged up tigers.
If you want to learn more about animal tourism and how to be a responsible traveler, contact the Responsible Travel and Tourism Collective (#RTTC). It’s dedicated to helping teach and inspire travelers how to travel responsibly.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.