Baboon Photos Fire Up the Anti Hunters
A Canberra businessman has put Australian international hunters under the spotlight after he dressed up and posed with a baboon that he hunted on a trip to Africa.
Through his lawyer, Mr Haridemos did not deny posting the photos but stressed all hunting trips were legal.
"Mr Haridemos has, on occasions, engaged in the activity of 'conservation hunting'," his solicitor said.
"This is a regulated activity, which is undertaken in accordance with licences and quotas issued by the relevant country, and is conducted in a manner that does not pose a threat to any endangered species."
The anti hunters took full advantage of the published photos having them trolled out through their social media channels to drum up support against African trophy hunting.
Nicola Beynon at the Australian branch of Humane Society International said trophy hunting had no place in modern
"Most people are repulsed by trophy hunters posing for pictures with slaughtered wildlife," she said.
The baboon pictured appears to have been shot in 2010 on a trip to Zimbabwe run through Charlton McCallum Safaris.
The Canberra Times reported a spokeswoman for animal rights group PETA Australia described the images as appalling.
"With boundless opportunities for amusement, it speaks volumes that such people get a thrill from gunning down, and turning into objects of ridicule, other individuals who ask for nothing out of life but the chance to live it," she said.
Carolyn Drew, spokeswoman for Animal Liberation ACT, said the images appeared to reflect the disturbing trend of "hunters trying to one-up each other".
"Hunters get a kick out of both the power they feel when killing an animal and then through posing or showing off to the hunting community, they get a thrill," she said.
"All hunting, including that [by] Australians, puts pressure on wildlife and, whether inadvertently or not, enables the poaching trade. While both trophy hunters and poachers keep hunting, each gives the another the excuse to keep going.
"It all makes me feel very sad... that wildlife are treated with such disdain and contempt."
These trophy shots always fuel the anti hunting fire. Often they are far better off left for the private hunt albums if they have a place in your hunting at all. Unfortunately the public on the fence can be turned against us with these images even when taken innocently.