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Letters to the Editor: Hey, elephant hunters, you can appreciate wildlife without killing it

The LA Times logo The LA Times 8/6/2020
a small herd of elephants standing next to a baby elephant: Elephants lock horns as they greet each other at dawn in the Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya in 2013. (Dai Kurokaw / EPA) © (Dai Kurokaw / EPA) Elephants lock horns as they greet each other at dawn in the Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya in 2013. (Dai Kurokaw / EPA)

To the editor: Trophy hunting in the modern world? Are you kidding me? It is absolutely unconscionable, cruel and unnecessary that beautiful and innocent wild animals worldwide are murdered purely to satisfy a hunter's desire to kill. ("This L.A. hunter killed an elephant. Now he's a PETA target in bid to end trophy hunting," Aug. 3)

I was absolutely sickened by Aaron Raby and his self-serving attitude that he "hunts not for the kill but for the experience and adventure of the hunt." If Raby really felt that way, then why kill? Why not shoot instead with just a camera? If he really knows and understands animals as he claims, then why kill them and instead donate the money he spends on hunting expeditions to conservation groups?

Elephants are sentient beings and deserve far better. I can only hope that Senate Bill 1175 is passed and signed into law by Gov. [Gavin] Newsom, and Raby never receives his trophy from Africa.

Suzanne E. Feighery, Fullerton

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To the editor: In 1974, I had the experience of exploring East Africa for a month with a friend. We camped where we wanted and blended in with the environment and the animals. We had many experiences with elephants, as we observed them from a distance.

Now, I read of a hunter who not only killed an elephant and then proceeded to eat part of it, but now wants the head as his personal trophy.

This is taking place in 2020, when our knowledge of elephants has taught us that the giant creatures have "feelings" and console each other through trauma.

Put down your knife and fork, Mr. Raby.

Wendy Robinson, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: While the state is overwhelmed responding to the pandemic, why does the Legislature find it necessary to ban the import and possession of parts of certain animal species?

The countries of origin and the U.S. federal government already have rules in place regulating this trade. Why is the state weighing in on the conservation policies of foreign countries? Are we so arrogant that we think we can manage these species from thousands of miles away?

Former Gov. Jerry Brown got it right when he vetoed this legislation the first time around. Effective enforcement is next to impossible. The state doesn't regulate points of entry into the United States or even our own borders for that matter.

Our state agencies have better things to do than to track down hunting trophies.

Andrew Shore, Venice

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To the editor: According to your article, Raby said he hunts "not for the kill, but for the experience and adventure of the hunt — living outdoors, cooking around a campfire, tracking an animal and immersing himself in the wild."

If Raby is so into the experience and adventure, maybe he should try using a camera instead of a gun. He would be living outdoors, cooking around a campfire and immersing himself in the wild.

The only thing missing would be a dead (possibly endangered) animal, shot and left to die a miserable death.

Debbie Cassettari, Chino Hills

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