A canned hunt is a trophy hunt in which an animal is kept in a confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. According to one dictionary, a canned hunt is a “hunt for animals that have been raised on game ranches until they are mature enough to be killed for trophy collections.”
If, like me, you ask, “What the fuck is a trophy hunt?” here’s a little help:
Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game animals. Although parts of the slain animal may be kept as a hunting trophy or memorial (usually the skin, antlers and/or head), the carcass itself is sometimes used as food.
Yup. There’s stuff going on in the world that I can’t possibly imagine.
Way back in 2006 The New York Times ran a story entitled Trophies in a Barrel: Examining ‘Canned Hunting’ and said that South Africa had a “thriving wildlife industry” of $280 million. Well, not exactly “thriving” for some, eh? 190 lions were reportedly killed during the 2003-4 hunting season for an average fee of $17,500 per successful “hunter.”
They reported that the practice included “the hunting of animals that are drugged, sedated or accustomed to humans.”
It’s been about eight years since this story, so obviously canned hunting is now bigger than ever. The show 60 Minutes covered it just last weekend, reporting that “for prices up to 100,000 dollars you can go into an enclosure and shoot a lion.” And, they added, “It’s entirely legal.”
Yes, be sure to proudly carry that shield of “legality” with you on your way to Hell. Let me know how that works out for ya.
Lions in Africa are monetized in various ways. On one hand, wealthy tourists pay for the privilege of petting baby lions. When the lions get too big, though, this presents a problem. The business is not sustainable in the sense that there’s anyplace for these lions to go when the cuteness wears off. So many (all?) are sold to contractors who sell them to canned hunting operations. The animals are killed by the very same creatures that acclimated them to loving kindness.
Think of it like getting baby chicks or bunnies for Easter because they are so cuddly and cute. Only, when they get too big, you don’t send them to a farm, leave them on the side of the road or eat them for dinner. Instead you chomp off their heads Ozzy-style and mount them on the wall. Mmm. Trophy.
It’s hard to imagine much, if anything, that could be more twisted.
Pretend you are wealthy, you love guns and you love killing things. What to do? (Everyone needs a hobby to be passionate about, I guess.) You could hunt your various local flora and fauna, but that’s not very exotic. Been there, done that. Why not go on a canned safari and repeatedly shoot a canned docile animal until it is dead. Now that makes quite the “trophy,” right? Finally, something to get excited about in life. Well, death, I mean.
I thought selfies were stupid. Do it with a dead animal, though, and it’s exponentially explosively fun. A real bang.
I can understand hunting as a survival skill. I can understand respecting the animal. I can understand that a satisfying “hunt” involves training, knowledge and skill.
I don’t understand the apparent joy that comes from terminating the existence of living things, especially something as rare, majestic and beautiful as a lion. These hunting selfies feature beaming people with smiles a mile wide. What kind of “trophy” is a dead animal head, especially when it wasn’t earned by any traditional definition of the word “hunt” and at absolutely no risk of any kind? “Man, those skeeters were really biting that day when I stood behind a fence and killed that fierce lion that thought I was there to give him lovies under the chin. What a fierce hunt.”
What’s next? Fully conscious lions strapped down to a table so you can walk up, push the gun against their head, pull the trigger and be ensconced in an up-close-and-personal pink mist of trophy goodness? RAWR!!! ME GREAT HUNTER!
Something like that will be the next big thing to take the industry by storm, I’m sure. Think of it as the supersize of canned hunting.