An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst
I grew up in a hunting environment. Both my father and
grandfather were hunters. I estimate that for every lion taken, we walked
and tracked with brilliant Shangaan trackers over 100kms. Out of every 30
hunts, one was successful.
The problem I have with you and many of your colleagues
is, you are living a lie, you are unethical.
When you sell in Vegas and other places, your brochures
advertise that you can get the biggest lion for your client. It is well
known that wealthy clients will pay extra for an extra large lion and
elephant above 60 pounds ivory.
You knew where Cecil the lion's territory was. You knew
if you pulled a bait in that area, you would stand a good chance of getting
I trust you will tell the court how much Palmer paid you
over and above the normal head tax for an extra large lion. Palmer is
wealthy, his mentality is money can buy him big trophies. So he offers more
money for big elephant, big lion and big bear.
I am suggesting that this is where your ethics evaporate.
The lure of the big dollars!
The other problem I have, is that you know very well that
if you take off dominant males, it will cause havoc in the social system of
the pride. Is this ever discussed with the client that after you have shot
the dominant male, infanticide will occur and cubs may die! I suggest this
is never ever mentioned!
The next problem is you know that Cecil must weigh
between 450 and 500 pounds. To kill an animal this size with a bow and arrow
at night, you have to be highly skilled. Palmer spends his days looking in
peoples mouths. He boasts he is good, but how good?
You know that a .375 or .458 should be the weapon used.
However, you allow him to shoot with a bow. Why? Because he pays you more
Palmer shoots with a bow and arrow to feed his giant ego.
Consequently, he wounds the animal.
So Theo, every which way you turn, you are compromised.
You are shooting a dominant male with an inferior weapon because he is
paying you more money.
You will counter by saying the money Palmer paid goes
into conservation. How much of the $55 000 dollars goes into the park, the
conservancy, the permit or the local community?
How does the death of Cecil and all the other lions you
have taken, benefit the camp fire project?
How many trackers do you employ compared to the eco
tourist operators who photographed Cecil day after day, week after week,
year after year?
What was Cecil's value alive compared to your $55 000
I have some more problems. When I grew up, baiting was
considered unsporting. How many lions have you taken using the recorder,
where you play distress calls of buffalo or calls of foreign male lions?
All your leopards are taken over a bait from a hide or
with a pack of dogs treeing the leopard. Where is the fair chase in that?
As you get towards the end of the hunt, your client will
take any leopard, male or female. How do you know that female leopard you've
taken out doesn't have small cubs in her den? Even from close, it is
difficult to tell if she's suckling or not. How many leopard cubs have you
Theo, I understand it's difficult to make a living and
raise a family in a country which has been run into the ground by atrocious
However, you and your colleagues in Zimbabwe and those
PH's doing canned lion hunting in South Africa, are nothing more than
mercenary soldiers killing icon animals for money.
I suggest you sit down and do some serious soul searching
on the cruelty you create and how you earn a living.
Tread lightly on the Earth