Dear Barbara Creecy, Dark Lord of All Beasts, Forests and Fishes

I hear you have decreed that 10 leopards, 10 black rhino and 150 elephants shall be gunned down by trophy hunters this year. Good for you. There is no place in this country for freeloaders who contribute nothing to the national democratic revolution.

Besides, it’s not as if South Africa has a shortage of these violent brutes. Some people have reported seeing as many as two leopards in their lifetimes. That’s more than enough. It’s better for all concerned that nobody sees any leopards whatsoever. Give them half a chance and they’ll be in the suburbs. Then it’s, “Babe, there’s another mutilated impala under the bed!” As if birds and lizards aren’t enough.

As for the rhino, they’ve had this coming for a long time.

Short-sighted and cantankerous, more so even than Gwede Mantashe, they often prevent interesting species from being photographed. My view of a warthog has more than once been spoiled by a dirty great ungulate standing there like a lump of concrete. How about if we painted them? I don’t mean with targets to make it easier for the shunters, although it’s something you might want to consider, but rather use them as mobile billboards. I bet Shell would pay good money to have its logo sprayed on the side of one of these ridiculous animals. No, you’re right. They are still worth more dead than alive.

I’m surprised you chose black rhino, though. What kind of comrade are you? It’s the white rhinos lumbering about complaining of congestion at the waterhole because too many black ones have moved into the neighbourhood.

So, 150 elephants, eh? I bet the young ones are excited. What kid doesn’t enjoy time without adult supervision? And by the time they are big enough to make it onto your hit list, they will have had a fabulous few years and won’t ever have to worry about growing old. What’s more, they stand a chance of having their head mounted on a wall in some or other redneck’s ranch in Texas. Bonus!

Are you sure 150 is enough, though? Apparently elephants never forget. That could be dangerous, especially if they ever start running for public office. That would show up your colleagues in the Cabinet, most of whom who have serious memory retention issues, especially when it comes to making promises and not learning from history.

I see most of the condemned leopards are from the North West and Limpopo. If word gets out, these murderous felines are liable to sneak into Gauteng under cover of darkness and take jobs away from non-South African leopards, and then you’ll have an entirely different problem on your hands.

Also, unlike the endangered and critically endangered elephants and rhinos, leopards are only vulnerable. Cats, hey. Such drama queens. We’re all vulnerable. They need to get over it.

You’ve sentenced just one leopard from KwaZulu-Natal to death? I attended one of King Zwelithini’s topless extravaganzas showcasing the latest in a range of buxom teenage virgins and, judging by the attire of the amabutho and the royals, leopards must be in very short supply in those parts. Still, there’s always one, isn’t there. I just hope it’s not a British trophy hunter who kills him. Rorke’s Drift still rankles.

Barbs, I have to say I loved that bit where you said “income generated by trophy hunting is critical for impoverished rural communities”. I don’t know who laughed more – you when you wrote it or me when I read it. That’s the beauty of issuing statements instead of holding press conferences. You can come up with any number of easily discredited narratives without having to answer awkward questions from journalists armed with real facts.

You also said trophy hunting “provides a useful wildlife management tool … as a means to remove excess males from a population”. Yes! If there is anything this country needs, it’s the removal of excess males. I have a list of my own and I’m happy to share it with your best hunters.

You proudly announced that in 2019, “approximately R208m was derived from the trophy hunting of threatened or endangered species”. This sounds like a weird admission for someone in your position to make. Did somebody slip a little sodium thiopental into your gin and tonic? You do understand the meaning of “endangered”, right?

Ambling towards the moral high ground, you claimed that “the biodiversity sector employed more than 418,000 people in 2019, which is comparable to mining”. I don’t want to sound like a tree-hugging, lentil-eating snowflake here, but I imagine most of them weren’t involved in the business of encouraging foreigners to shoot our natural assets in the face. I expect you’d find more of that sort of thing in the mining industry itself.

Finally, you said “hunting is a part of SA heritage and culture”. You’re right there, Babsy. Many of us spend our time hunting for jobs, quick cash or the fucker who stole our car.

Down with the Big Five! Or, by the time you’ve finished, the Big Two.

11 thoughts on “Dear Barbara Creecy, Dark Lord of All Beasts, Forests and Fishes

  1. Ian Giles

    Purge All Hunters From CONservation Organizations. Government level corruption is ubiquitous. Needs massive overhaul with regulatory oversight and accountability.

  2. Alan Paterson

    The Paulys (autocorrect gives me Paula’s, may be a clue) of this world are merely psychopaths and serial killers, merely of different species. The much vaunted idea that (trophy) hunters have done soooo much for conservation is just so specious. “Forgive me honey but I must spend time out with my buddies, much as I hate the idea of killing anything I have to do my bit for conservation.” Creecy (autocorrect gives Creepy) for President I say!

  3. Jane

    Perhaps Paul’s comment has some bearing but who knows if that is fact? I doubt it is as clean cut as you suggest. I doubt the forces threatening wildlife are as ‘managed’ as Creecy suggests. I think Trovato’s satire is quite valid. Where do the proceeds of trophy hunting go? Fly in, shoot and fly out. How does hunting do more than conservation efforts pray tell? Revert back to cattle and goats sounds like a broad overstatement.

  4. Graeme Bird

    Haha, I love how hunters like Pauly argue that they are conservationists. They just fail to mention that their core motivation is the cheap thrill and blood lust they get from killing the very things they’ve apparently put so much care into letting live. Or how shooting their guns clearly compensates the much greater agony (to them) of having small penises and erectile dysfunction.

  5. Susie Gale

    This is incomprehensible, given the stance you supposedly spear-headed (pun intended) and supported last year, to stop and finally put an end all this mindless bloodlust. Who’s been filling your pockets with ill gotten spoils and whispered promises in your ear, I have to wonder. A 180° turn fromyour previous ‘policy’ is massive..for the animals and for future generations. Deplorable is the least of it! Get a grip and grow a pair..

  6. Paul Jackson

    Hunting has done more for conservation than ALL the other conservation forces combined over the last 50 years. Trovoto’s cynicism, while witty, is not useful. Unless you want over 2 million hectares to revert back to goats and cattle of course. Then you won’t have to worry about the wildlife.

    • Mariana

      Where a species is endangered, such animals should not be killed.
      If the argument is that the income (derived from trophy hunting of endangered animals) is crucial for conservational efforts, I have a novel suggestion for such trophy hunters: Donate the money.

    • Hey Paul, I have to agree with you on some of your points. However I have some questions too…..
      How much of the money actually goes back into the environment? I know a very good PH who has just lost a beautiful farm to the banks because of the absence of hunting clients, and the money would definitely have gone towards paying off that farm. Or some of it.
      Another question that plagues me, however, is what kind of pleasure a human being can derive from killing a beautiful creature? Watching it kicking and writhing as its life ebbs away…..I see no pleasure in that.
      A friend once invited me to accompany him on a hunting trip. “Bring your camera”. he said. I don’t hunt so just drank beer all day. The only time I could confront the destruction they wrought was if I was half cut. When I handed him the disk with 160 images he angrily asked me, “How can you give me this shit??!!!!” I replied, “You did that, not me. You asked me to take pics of your hunting weekend. That’s what you guys did.” He doesn’t hunt any more.

  7. Vivienne Bothma

    This woman shud b in the same list as the leopards. Surely with her gone she wont be missed & her head mounted on a wall in Texas shud go down well. Lets see how she likes being in the “hit list”. LEAVE OUR ANIMALS ALONE YOU USELESS MORON

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