A big game hunter who has killed elephants, lions and hippos in Africa has said that he is 'totally unrepentant' for the deaths.
Ron Thomson, 77, who worked in national parks across the continent, says he did not hunt the animals for sport but was in fact managing an overgrowing population, the Daily Mail reports.
But according to animal rights organisation Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, elephant numbers are in decline and 'management culling' is often used as an excuse for trophy hunting.
Ron Thomson says he doesn't regret killing over 5,000 elephants. Credit: True Green Alliance
Thomson came forward to defend his actions when the group named him as one of the most prolific elephant killers in the country.
The hunter is the CEO of 'True Green Alliance'. According to the organisation's website, it aims "to negate the animal rights movement's irresponsible wildlife management lobbying and expose its deceitful methods of getting public charity."
The website also contains Thomson's claims to have killed more than 800 buffalo, up to 40 leopards, about 50 hippos and 'many more'.
There are only about 400,000 elephants left in Africa. Credit: PA
He has also bragged about killing 32 elephants in one go, in only 15 minutes.
He has said that he doesn't hunt regularly any more, but would do if invited.
Speaking to the Independent, Thomson said: "I've done enough in my lifetime to satisfy any 'bloodlust' people may think I have.
"It wasn't bloodlust - it was my job.
"I didn't have any sentiment. I'm totally unrepentant, a hundred - ten thousand - times over for any of the hunting I've done because that's not the problem."
Although he has said that he only hunted to control populations, he has previously told the Guardian: "It was a great thrill to me, to be very honest.
"Some people enjoy hunting just as much as other people abhor it. I happened to enjoy it."
Thomson said that western conservationists have spread 'fraudulent lies' about how endangered some species of African animals are to extract money from the public, although they don't know a thing about managing wildlife.
Population control is often used as a cover for trophy hunting. Credit: PA
He said: "When you have a healthy population you must ensure they don't increase beyond the capacity of their habitat."
His comments came after a report by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting stated that elephant ivory taken by hunters has actually increased in the past 30 years, with elephant populations decreasing from about 1.3 million to just 400,000.
Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, told the Daily Mirror: "The trophy hunting industry is slaughtering elephants left, right and centre.
"Killing elephants for fun is unacceptable, even more so because of the seriousness of the current crisis. The recent surge in elephant hunting shows that the industry is out of control."
Featured Image Credit: PA