A fringe-eared oryx stands in a shimmering field of gold in Samburu.
Today is Earth Day. Let’s appreciate nature, all the creatures on this planet, and what we have.
“We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us… We can never have enough of nature.”
-Henry David Thoreau
A page of a catalogue is flipped. One page is adorned with a photograph of an East African Oryx. Found only north of the equator, this graceful creature has beautiful distinctive markings that can be spotted from miles away, with elegant, spiralled horns that lean towards the back. It lives in Samburu, a semi-arid savannah dotted with scrub and hills. This area was where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness.
Exotic. Graceful. Stately. US$700. Recommended calibre: .300 Magnums.
This would be a page from a hunting catalogue if Kenya allowed trophy hunting. Elsewhere in Africa however, the industry is very much alive and legal, and continues unabated, at the expense of beautiful animals such as this oryx being killed for sport every single day.
How could it be that an animal, purposely described for its beauty, be described as a ‘beautiful game trophy’- an oxymoron, if there ever was one- on the very same page with which it is advertised?
May this antiquated sport be outlawed once and for all, and may there be a day when all animals are treated with the respect they deserve. Because all lives matter.