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Safari Photos Elephants Opinions

This is a discussion on Safari Photos Elephants Opinions within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hi all, Something that I noticed when looking at B&W photos taken of some of the legends in the safari ...

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    CT Safaris's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Something that I noticed when looking at B&W photos taken of some of the legends in the safari industry was the different poses that were used - especially those with the hunters sitting on top of their elephants... I know that some find these poses disrespectful towards the animals...

    With this in mind - I would love to hear your opinions on the photo below... Is it distasteful / disrespectful?



    Here's another picture...



    As a matter of interest - the lady in the picture is not a hunter... In fact, elephants are here favourite animals and she only agreed to pose with the elephant after she had given it its "last meal" - a German tradition (hence the Mopani branch in the ele's mouth.
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    F.L.A.S.H's Avatar
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    I personally dont find it disrespecfull, but would if the hunter posed with his foot on the animals head

    I give all the animals i shoot there last meal, have done since i started hunting when i was 10

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    Our mentality about hunting and respect for animals is very different than it was 100 years ago. In those days, taking a large game animal was seen as a triumph of man over beast. (For some insight, read "African Game Trails" by T. Roosevelt.)

    I don't find the old photos or recent photos distasteful. I just would not do it myself. Hunting for me is about the experience, challenge and camaraderie, not the conquest.

    Ditto what flash said about the foot on the head tho'

    - browningbbr

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    I don't find the above pictures distasteful.

    Most things in life come from your experiences in life and beliefs you hold dear to you.....I think elephant and hunter pictures are hard to pose in the first place.

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    Chris, allow me to disagre. I do not like photos like the first one at all, the second one is little better.
    IMO, the below photo is about as far as I would go with sitting on the elephant:

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    Too much "conquering hero" for me and a little disrespectful. After mine was down i really struggled with a good pose. Elephant are hard to photograph because they look like a lump of grey and the trunk and mouth do not look good on the ground. Even more difficult are tuskless. Either way sitting on top doesnt work for me.

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    Overall I believe it is disrespectful. I am surprised that someone that provides the Letzter Bissen sits on the animal. At some point they were taught to respect their prey.

    After attending a German hunting course it provided me a new insight to hunting and conservation.

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    i am sure with today's digital cameras many pictures were taken and were not used..

    That being said the weeded out pictures should have never been sent or down loaded for some one to use.

    That said i did not care for either of the 2 posted pictures.

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    I don't think it is appropriate to sit on an animal, if it is a steenbok or an elephant. There is no difference. It sends out a wrong message. With modern cameras you can take any picture from any angle and it will show the elephant and the hunter.

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    First off congrats to the folks in the photos for taking some fine animals. I have no problem with any of the photos posted. Take photos of the animals that you harvest in a way that will make you happy and bring back those memories in the future when you look at them.

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    Thank you for the feedback.

    Whilst I don't see anything wrong with the pictures (I am biased of course) I do respect others' opinions - which is the reason for asking. Based on the replies over here it appears many do not share my opinion... which is good because we are all different and entitled to our opinions.

    Maybe the pictures could be seen as "conquering hero" by some but I guess when you've spent 8 days and many miles on the tracks of elephant you may well feel like you have achieved something to be proud of when you finally get up close and make a clean kill...

    FWIW I also do not like photos of hunters with their feet on the heads of the animals they've killed - nor do I like the pictures with hunters sitting spreadeagled over their animals holding the horns up with a cigarete dangling from their lips.

    Karl, that's a beautiful bull BTW!

    Regards,

    Chris
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    I personally do not find either photo disrespectful. However, the definition of "distasteful" is open to a wide range of interpretations and I can see how someone may not appreciate those photos.
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    I think it's mostly about culture. Most Americans don't have any massive problem with having their picture taken when sitting on an animal and some don't even have a problem with a foot on the animal but as a rule of thumb, most Europeans would consider it extremely bad taste.

    Note I said most rather than all.

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    An interesting subject. I guess there is no right or wrong answer as we all have different views on what is acceptable and what is not. I agree with the above post by shakari though, it does boil down to culture on the most part.
    Whenever I have a photo taken with a hunted animal I would never consider placing my foot upon it or sitting on it no matter what size or species it is. I also dislike trophy photos that show a lot of blood and gore. I would always take the time to clean the animal up or pose it so the entrance/exit wounds are not on display.
    I envy the continental Europeans for their traditions and hunting culture. Somehow they bring civility and respect to their quarry in death.
    In the U.K. there is very little of that and we don't seem to appreciate the conclusion of the hunt and the fallen animal or bird that deserves some respect from us. I try to make the effort to show some respect and the 'last meal' is a very simple but worthy action.
    The sitting on a dead animal is just outside my personal scope of acceptability as my belief is that it is demeaning to said animal but I don't condemn or criticise those who wish to do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT Safaris View Post
    Hi all,

    Something that I noticed when looking at B&W photos taken of some of the legends in the safari industry was the different poses that were used - especially those with the hunters sitting on top of their elephants... I know that some find these poses disrespectful towards the animals...

    With this in mind - I would love to hear your opinions on the photo below... Is it distasteful / disrespectful?



    Here's another picture...



    As a matter of interest - the lady in the picture is not a hunter... In fact, elephants are here favourite animals and she only agreed to pose with the elephant after she had given it its "last meal" - a German tradition (hence the Mopani branch in the ele's mouth.
    Chris,

    As to your two elephant hunt photos, I don't find them distasteful. Hard to put in words, but for me it comes down to a first impression, and my first impression when viewing the photos was NOT that you intended any disrespect to a fine animal and trophy. So I'm OK with your photos. I also have no problem with the "Olde Time" photos that frequently depict a pose that would be considered in bad taste today. Those were different times . . . and I'd rather the photographs (and stories) depict "reality" and the human behavior of the time as brutal, dramatic, or shocking, as it frequently was.
    Having said that, I generally do disapprove of modern era photos of people sitting on animals, or in some way giving the impression of disrespect. So I guess it's a fine line. I'm the guy that after bagging a Mallard, or Wood duck, or a Blue Winged Teal, smooths the feathers, tucks the head under one wing and lays them gently on the boat seat. And I have hunting buddies that are quite OK (strangely for me) to lift the fallen the bird out of the water and just throw them in the bottom of the boat where they slosh around in the water and mud and perhaps a little spilled outboard gas until we call it a day. I have also found it a bit of a strain to my own senses to have a morning's ration shooting of kudu, Impala, Warthog and what-not all jumbled up and bloating in the back of the Land Cruiser before finally being tossed off the tail-gate at the slaughter-block some hours after being shot. But that's just me . . . many guys find that perfectly OK and I accept that we sometimes have a different perspective.

    On the subject of tasteful, and respectful hunt photos . . . I can't recall any photos more disgusting than those I saw on a Tanzania safari operator's stand when attending a Hunting Exhibition in a middle eastern city in 2005.
    Two poster sized photos taking pride of place on the stand . . . one of a proud young hunter clad in tailor-made khakis posing beside a one meter high pyramid-like pile of severed Gazelle heads. A closer look revealed a mix of Grant's and Tommie's, some males, mature & immature, as well as females. The other poster was of a hunter proudly dangling a gazelle head in each hand, dripping blood from where they had been severed just at the throat. Unfortunately I did not take note of the operator.
    A self-guided resident hunter in several African countries for 25 plus years
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    I'd admit in modern times seeing a person in front of a pile of gazelle heads smiling or posing would piss me off too! The greed!

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