Monday, 14 November 2011

World's rarest animals shot in Australia

It seems inconceivable that canned hunts - where wild animals are released specifically to be shot by rich men who love killing things, so they can have their pictures taken with them - are going on in Australia, but they are, the NT News reports.

And the victims of this bloodsport - because 'sport' is what it is, with the animals purely shot for trophies - are some of the world's rarest animals, refugees from a failed wildlife park.

The ENDANGERED Bentang (south-east Asian wild cattle) and the EXTINCT-in-the-wild African Scimitar oryx are among the animals hunted on the Mary River safari park near Kakadu.

The animals reportedly come from a wildlife park in North Queensland, which received them from Tipperary station, 190km southwest of Darwin.

Apparently a few must be shot in order to support the remainder of the herd, which seems laughable when the whole property is a giant safari park - a dedicated killing zone for men with guns who can afford the cost. Not exactly animal conservation, is it?

The herd's original owner is said to be devastated. One-time multi-millionaire businessman Warren Anderson imported the animals and bred the herd up before selling it to a Queensland zoo. "They are shooting my beloved animals," Mr Anderson said. "For me, to see these beautiful animals shot by these madmen is a tragedy. They are extinct in the wild. It's like shooting a Sumatran tiger or a white rhino. It's disgusting. These are protected animals that I spent millions of dollars and years breeding."

Mr Anderson also blasted Mr Nioa's description of "hunting" the oryx. "These things are in a paddock. You could throw hay out and they would come up to eat it . . . Those scimitar are like your favourite dairy cow."

Mr Anderson said he bred the herd up to 100, which he sold to the Mareeba Wildlife Park in Queensland, but when the park failed to gain permission for authorities to bring the animals into Queensland, the Mareeba zoo operator on-sold them to Mary River Australia Safari park.

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