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Hunting down a leopard

Sunday 5th January 2014

Hunting down a leopard


                                                                         Last tango in Africa

We were recently alerted to this YouTube clip featuring Jeff Rann as the professional hunter and his un-named client (Jody?) on a leopard hunt somewhere in southern Africa. Warning: Distressing footage.

Rann used to operate trophy hunting safaris in Botswana with clients of the likes of the King of Spain (remember that the King could hardly walk before the hunt, and then broke his hip during the hunt for good measure – Spanish outrage caused him to resign as their WWF President).

Apart from private lands, trophy hunting has now ceased in Botswana (until further notice – the language is not entirely clear and the hunting lobby is hard at work).

This clip shows trophy hunting at its worst. Hunting a leopard with dogs is controversial enough, but shooting any animal from a vehicle is a definite no-no according to all professional hunting organizations. But such sorts of rules rely on Government enforcement rather than hunter compliance and censure – as with canned lion hunting in South Africa, trophy hunters want things made easy.

The clip names Botswana, but is it more likely that it occurred in South Africa or perhaps Zimbabwe? If Jeff Rann and his client shot this leopard in a State hunting concession in Botswana it would be against the law. If Rann, however, arranged this hunt on a private concession in South Africa or Zimbabwe it might be perfectly legal. Trophy hunters like Melissa Bachman always say their hunts were completely legal. But were their hunts ethical?

After all, real hunters apply the concept of “fair chase” – meaning that the hunter is supposed to pit his/her skills against the prey, and that the animal has a chance of getting away. That is fair chase. 

Fair chase is widely ignored in the relentless desire to acquire trophies, seemingly these days the main reason for any “hunt”. In this case, if you watch the clip closely, about three vehicles were chasing the leopard. 

At the end of the clip Rann says “Jody’s gun was empty… it’s as exciting as it can get without anyone getting hurt” … he forgets the leopard?

We would like some more information on this highly unethical “hunt”. Can anyone identify the client, the site, the other people involved? With your help we can stop this killing just for the sake of a spotted rug.  

You can contact us on

Picture credit:  www.

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Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:06

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