By Tom Parry – Mirror
EXCLUSIVE: As elephant numbers dwindle, Britain has been named and shamed as one country whose people travels to Africa to slaughter them
Britain has joined a league of shame called the “Deadly Dozen” as one of the 12 nations with the most trophy hunters slaughtering elephants.
A new report out on Monday says the impact of British hunters travelling to Africa to bring back ivory has had a devastating impact on the continent’s dwindling elephant populations.
British hunters have taken more than 1,089 elephant trophies and over a tonne of ivory back home for so-called sport.
The report also reveals that the overall amount of elephant ivory taken by trophy hunters has increased twelve-fold over the past 30 years.
The Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting says 100,000 elephant trophies from tusks that have been hacked off dead animals have been brought back by hunters from across the globe since the 1980s.
Elephant populations have plummeted from around 1.3 million to just over 400,000 over the same period.
The group said there has been a four-fold increase in the number of elephant trophies taken in 2015 compared with 1985.
Whereas hunters from fewer than 20 countries were shooting elephants in 1985, the figure has now climbed to nearly 50.
Over the last three decades, the world’s elephant population has fallen by a million because of poaching for ivory, as well as trophy hunting.
Today’s dossier identifies a Zimbabwean man, named Ron Thomson, as being personally responsible for killing a staggering 5,000 elephants.
Eduardo Gonçalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “The trophy hunting industry is slaughtering elephants left, right and centre.
“Killing elephants for fun is unacceptable, even more so because of the seriousness of the current crisis.
“The recent surge in elephant hunting shows that the industry is out of control.
“Trophy hunting is a cruel and abhorrent hangover from colonial times. It now also threatens to push endangered species to the point of no return.”
Campaigners hit Downing Street on April 13 to urge a ban on hunters bringing trophies to the UK.
Celebrities including Michael Palin, Keeley Hawes, Joanna Lumley and William Shatner have signed a letter calling for a ban.