The general concept of wild animals like the leopard is that they are dangerous and should be kept at a distance. So what does it say when a hunter shoots a leopard and it fights back?
This happened recently in South Africa when a leopard turns aggressive on a couple while they were in a romantic setting and doing nothing to aggravate the leopard. In fact, there was third party, a hunter who tried to shoot the leopard but missed killing it. The bullet injured the animal which fought back – unfortunately, targeting the wrong person.When the news was published, it suggested that the animal just pounced on the married couple for no reason at all. It downplayed the other side of the story which was about the hunter and the sport of hunting. South Africa depends heavily on tourists coming in to hunt, and negative news could affect this income-generating trade.At the same time, the newspapers made it appear that the attack was the fault of the couple which could not be farther from the truth. Again, it’s politics being played out heavily. The leopard would not have done anything to bite anyone if it was not shot in the first place. The truth is, once an animal gets into the mode of thinking he is under attack because of the constant threat of hunters, his behavior will change to a more aggressive stance. If hunting is reduced or stopped altogether, it is possible to reverse that behavior. As of now, hunting is a bloodsport, not a means to find food.
It’s not even a fair sport because hunters now use telescopic lenses to shot from hundreds of meters away. The animals have very little chance of being able to run away because they won’t sense the hunter from that distance.
Is it any wonder that we are experiencing animal attacks and critical situations where animals could become extinct?
Then, when a truly tragic situation arises and vicious animals attack humans for no reason at all, we use this as justification for hunting. Somehow, there is something wrong with this logic but the powers-that be go with the flow because money is more important than life. And trophy hunting is a high-revenue sport.
Reference: Illustrated Encyclopedia of endangered animals.