Trophy Hunter Slams Disney's Lion King For Making People Hate Hunters
A trophy hunter over in Australia has slammed films such as The Lion King, claiming they encourage people to hate killers of 'exotic' animals.
Nick Morton, 27, says he hunts animals including zebras as it satisfies his natural urge to be closer to nature.
Discussing his instinctual draw to the outdoors, Nick said that he grew up on a small property where he would 'adventure into the bush, make bows, and shoot targets from a young age'.
"Fast-forward a few years and I went on my first bow-hunts, guided by my own knowledge with no one else to draw from," he explained.
"Hunting satisfies an urge within me that seems so natural. It brings me closer to the natural world - giving me greater understanding and respect for the animals in which we share these lands with."
As well as donating three percent of his company Nexxus Bowhunting's profits to conservation charities, Nick claims to use every part of the animal he kills.
"I usually carry the meat back to feed my family and friends. Hides can be used for decoration.
"Horns and antlers are kept as a sort of trophy to remember that animal by. You can continue to pay respect to the animal by adding it to your collection at home."
Despite his love for the sport, the hunter from Newcastle, Australia, says he's all too aware of the controversy of his passion.
While many people see it as a bloodlust collection, for Nick he reckons it's about 'respect'.
More Like ThisMore Like This
"It's a reminder that you've taken that animal's life and you can continue to honour it," he said.
"A lot of negative perceptions of hunting stem from things that aren't factual, especially when it comes to what we'd call exotic animals - African animals.
"An animal in Africa is no different to an animal in Australia. Certain herds need to be culled and that's a job a hunter can do. I see a zebra as a perfectly acceptable animal to hunt.
"The numbers need to be regulated - it's no different to boar or deer but because of how we grow up with things like The Lion King, people put these animals on a pedestal.
"It makes them think that it's okay to shoot a pig but not a zebra. That doesn't seem to be a sound understanding of nature. Every animal is equal."
One of the key reasons trophy hunters have a bad rep is that they're often killing animals that are vulnerable to extinction.
While this isn't true for zebras, lions and tigers fall under the category as vulnerable and endangered respectively.
According to international animal welfare charity Born Free, trophy hunting does not benefit wildlife conservation.
The organisation outlines on its website: "Hunting proponents often claim the money generated through hunting fees goes towards funding wildlife conservation agencies, and that hunters can help control wildlife populations by removing problem or redundant individuals.
"However, little of the money generated through trophy hunting goes back into conservation.
"Rather than targeting problem or redundant animals, trophy hunters tend to covet animals with particular traits which make them good trophies.
"The killing of these individuals can have serious adverse consequences, which can threaten future population health and viability."