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Wayne Grant's Into the Thorns Tackles a Thorny Topic

Into the ThornsWayne GrantZimbabwe, more than ever, is a land of tragedy and surprises. It shouldn’t really shock one that an enterprising self-publisher should put his Zimbabwe-related expertise out in book form. But somehow, it does. Not least of all because the book retails for the princely sum of US $100 a copy. Trophy hunter Wayne Grant’s Into the Thorns: Hunting the Cattle-killing Leopard of the Matobo Hills, is sure to raise an exclamation – one way or the other.

Margaret von Klemperer interviewed Grant about this topic which, she says, “arouses strong emotions — the gap between the pro- and anti-lobbies appears impossible to bridge”:

Can you explain why hunting an animal like a leopard is such a thrill for the hunter? Is it about power, adventure or danger?

Hunting any animal ethically is exciting for the hunter. When the animal is a dangerous one or one that is difficult to hunt due to its cunning or because of rough inhospitable terrain, then the hunt is savoured and appreciated more by the hunter. For the true hunter, power doesn’t come in to it.

Are all your clients men, or do women also want to hunt?

No, our hunting clients are not all men. Women from all over the world also enjoy hunting.

Have you ever felt regret when you look down on an animal that has been shot?

Yes, I have felt regret at the death of a hunted animal. Even though I understand and support the hunting of elephant where the populations of those animals must be controlled through hunting, culling or relocation, I personally feel regret or a kind of sadness when I see a dead elephant.

Into the Thorns is available from Abebooks.com and Trophy Room Books

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    March 13th, 2009 @12:11 #
     
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    Horrendous. I'm sorry this book is getting any publicity at all. Feel quite ill after reading the interview.

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  • <a href="http://meganvoyseybraig.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Megan</a>
    Megan
    March 13th, 2009 @12:27 #
     
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    Absolutely repugnant.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    March 13th, 2009 @12:31 #
     
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    What Sarah said. Except that I didn't read beyond the opening lines of the interview. Brought back memories of sitting next to a hunter on a plane trip in Alaska, feeling more and more freaked out as he leafed through one gun catalogue after another, all full of gory details about the killing qualities of the deadly weapons.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    March 13th, 2009 @12:41 #
     
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    It's sickening, I wasn't going to comment here because doing that just adds to the publicity, but then I wondered why it's here at all? Is it literature? The Book SA bar says 'Bringing Literature to Life'. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be closed off, I don't like to perpetuate gaps, but if I think of a leopard being hunted for sport, it makes me sad in the extreme ... actually it makes me weep ... actually I have tears on my cheeks now.

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    March 13th, 2009 @13:33 #
     
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    My brother-in-law, Quinton Martins, started and runs the Cape Leopard trust and has dedicated his life to saving leopards in the Cedarberg from gruesome trapping practices. There is absolutely no justification for hunting predators. If the leopards are killing local lifestock, there are many far more 'ethical' ways to stop this without shooting the leopard. Yet another example of the sheer vileness of the human race.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    March 13th, 2009 @16:34 #
     
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    A great novel that explains exactly why it is scientifically disastrous to hunt predators is Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer (here fiction is worth a dozen conference papers). She talks about coyotes, but the same principles hold.

    One of the most magical moments of my childhood was my dad showing me fresh leopard-spoor in mud at a dam high up in the mountains of the Little Karoo. My parents kept such sightings to themselves, not wanting trigger-happy neighbours rocking up. We never lost a single sheep.

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  • <a href="http://liesljobson.bookslive.co.za" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    Liesl
    March 13th, 2009 @17:58 #
     
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    Good link to Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, Helen. I read it recently and found myself being educated, challenged and entertained. It's a fine work that stimulates a reader at multiple levels.

    I've examined my conscience about putting this book into the limelight at all. Alex raises a pertinent question about whether Into the Thorns is classifiably "literature" at all, but ultimately, BOOK SA is an information provider that simultaneously creates and holds dear a space where it is possible to examine contentious topics with clarity and courtesy.

    Louis Greenberg's response to the Parktown assault revealed the depth of intellect and compassion that exists in this community of writers and readers.

    I see it as vital that people of conscience articulate their thoughts and opinions on discomforting matters so that the issues can be examined with collective insight and wisdom. Perhaps amongst us is a novelist brave enough to respond to this matter, like Kingsolver did, and write a contribution that changes attitudes and hearts.

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  • <a href="http://alexsmith.book.co.za/" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    March 14th, 2009 @18:47 #
     
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    Noble Liesl, that courteous essayist or novelist will not be me, please forgive my fuzzy thoughtlessness and lack of wisdom, but regrettably as life wears on I fear I’m becoming increasingly less enchanted with courtesy, especially for example when applied to neighbouring dictators, but that is completely besides this point; no, I’d sooner be irrationally rude than even slightly courteous in this case; I have no single atom of space in my soul to be courteous to anyone who profits or derives pleasure from the death of a leopard. I only wish I believed in that place called hell, so I could say with conviction, ‘damn them to it eternally’.

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