Zimbabwe, 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 by Wayne Grant