WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement in response to the killing of a giraffe and zebra in South Africa by a 12-year old American trophy hunter:
"It's sad any time that an imperiled animal like a giraffe is killed for fun, regardless of who does it. Giraffes are in serious decline across Africa—it is estimated that their populations have dropped by 40 percent in the last 15 years. The last thing they need is to be killed for anyone's enjoyment.
All the negative on-line energy focused on this should not be directed at any individual, particularly a minor. We know that the problem is so much larger than any one of these isolated incidents. These kills were just two of thousands and thousands of animals legally killed for sport annually. This includes an approximate 200,000 animals from threatened species killed for trophies over the last decade.
Trophy hunters need to stop taking the lives of wildlife simply for fun. We are in 2016 and wild animals are facing a multitude of threats to their existence. Killing them for sport just isn't right."
Note: Jeff is available for interviews on this topic. He has studied giraffe population management in Africa and recently co-authored Killing for Trophies: An Analysis of Global Trophy Hunting Trade, an in-depth look at the scope and scale of the trophy hunting industry.