Endangered Species Handbook

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Persecution and Hunting

Trophy and Sport Hunting

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wealthy European and American big game hunters traveled to Asia, Africa and South America to "bag" large animals that they proudly displayed as stuffed animals and heads mounted on the walls of their homes. Maharajahs of India and British hunters took what Vincenz Ziswiler (1967), in his interesting book, Extinct and Vanishing Animals, describes as "a morbid pleasure in killing." Lord Ripon, an Englishman who died in 1923, was credited with killing 500,000 game birds and mammals--about 67 creatures for every shooting day of his life (McClung 1976).
One maharajah turned away from hunting and became a famous conservationist. Brajendra Singh, the last Maharajah of Bharatpur, hosted hundreds of hunts on his estate at the Keolada Ghana marsh 100 miles south of Delhi. A shoot organized by an English lord resulted in the killing of 4,323 ducks by 39 hunters in one day. In 1970, Brajendra Singh converted the duck shoot marsh into India's best known bird sanctuary. Singh died in 1995, having presided over the preservation of this vast marsh and its rare resident birds.

Page 1 (Big Cats)
Page 2 (Middle East)
Page 3 (Sahara)
Page 4 (Somalia)
Page 5 (Africa)
Page 6 (India)

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    ©1983 Animal Welfare Institute