Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Self Reflection of My Blog and the Class

This project has taught me a great deal about a species I worked so closely with over this past summer through my internship with a zoo. I have gotten to investigate not only how people view these species in captivity, but how they are viewed through art, literature, and entertainment.  Society can have a major impact on the way the public views the giraffe species. For example, many have come to know the giraffe as an awkward and skittish species through Dreamworks’ production of Madagascar. My overall thoughts on trophy hunting specifically has changed. I had always thought of the process as a purely negative thing, but that thought and perception changed when I learned how it can not only benefit the local economy and people, but also help conserve the species.

I have also learned a great deal about human animal interactions through this course. I have learned just how big of an impact the human animal bond can have on both parties. Along with this, I have learned of the many different ways a species can be perceived based upon how it is used. For example, a pet mouse is perceived and used in a much different aspect than a research mouse would be. One topic that this class has changed my perspective on is the use of animals in zoos. I was always a supporter of them, even after working for one over the summer. After the topic of animals in zoos was discussed though, I began to see things in a different light. I began to rethink my summer intern and the behavior of the animals. The lions and big cats definitely did not have enough space or enrichment which was apparent with their constant pacing back and forth alongside their fencing of their enclosure. I’ve always thought that the longer lifespan of an animal in a zoo along with the fact that they have spent their whole life in captivity, that they obviously had to reason to be suffering. This opinion has changed though. Although I still love attending zoos and admiring their animals, I will have an aching in my heart for them. I know the staff truly cares for them, but the limited amount of space, interaction, and enrichment they are given is stressful to the animal.

Jocelyns Moral Vision Statement on the Overall Use of Animals by Humans

My personal philosophy when it comes to interaction with, use of, and treatment of animals in society is that unnecessary pain should not be inflicted unto them. If pain is inflicted unto an animal for a purpose such as food, it should be instantaneous, unsuspected, and as non-traumatic as possible. If it is not possible at any time, the process should be postponed until it is possible. Man should seek to give farm animals a decent life, and strive to offer the animal a less painful death than what would have possibly awaited them in the wild. The overall end goal would to not eliminate the overall purposeful uses of animals, but to try and reduce the net amount of animal suffering that comes with these uses.

A Compromise to Trophy Giraffe Hunting Practices

Although trophy hunting has its pros and cons, there are some areas that are in need of improvement. First of all, hunters need to be trained on how to kill such a large animal like a giraffe. No hunter has 100% accuracy with their target, but missing their target will cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal. Hunting professionals that lead these operations need to be able to assess the ability of the hunter and stop them from hunting if they do not possess the required skills to kill the giraffe quickly. This could be done through prior target practice before the actual hunt. The professional also needs to be able to assist in the shooting if the tourist does in fact miss their target in order to take the animal down quickly and lessen its suffering.

Another area that needs to be addressed is the use of the parts of the animal after it is hunted. Meat from the species is edible to humans. Although the trophy hunter may pay for their right to the carcass, there is no reason for the meat to go to waste if the hunter does not want it. Its body should be utilized to its full potential for the benefits of humans. This would help in the fact that the death of the animal was not for just a trophy, but also for the purpose of feeding people.

Another, more important, area that needs to be taken into consideration is the population numbers of the areas where it is legal to trophy hunt the species. If the populations where it is legal to hunt is decreasing over the years, then trophy hunting should be made illegal in order to conserve the species population. In areas where the population numbers are increasing, then there should be no problem with making trophy hunting illegal, as long as it keeps the conservation of the population in affect.

"Should the Trophy Hunting of Giraffes Be Banned?" Focusing on Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. <>.

The Cons of Trophy Giraffe Hunting

Dear Change.Org,
      I see your organization is against the use of giraffes for trophy hunting. I really enjoyed reading your website as it provides facts from both sides of the controversy. I agree with your concern with the questioning of how sustainably managed the species population really is in Africa. You provide important supporting statistics of how the population has nearly halved within the past 30 years and has even became extinct in some areas. You show great detail in how the practice can help the country and its people by profitability of money and distribution of the giraffe meat to local communities. You also take on the point that human development is a likely contributor to the population declination, but help keep your readers interested in not only questioning how sustainable this species is through hunting, but how ethical is the overall hunting practice.

     Although I agree with your concern, there are many businesses out there that are doing their part in conserving the species and having concern for the welfare of the animal. Many of the hunts are conducted by trained professionals on private lands. These professionals provide tourists with the information needed in order to get a clean kill. There are some areas that are in fact increasing their population numbers due to their conservation efforts through giraffe trophy hunting, according to Dr. Fennessy. It is only when looking at the country as a whole when the populations are seen to be declining.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jocelyn Delhotal

"End Brutal and Inhumane Hunting of Giraffes for Sport." Change.Org. Change, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. <>.

"Should the Trophy Hunting of Giraffes Be Banned?" Focusing on Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. <>.

The Pros of Trophy Giraffe Hunting

Dear African Sky Hunting,

                I am researching the benefits of trophy hunting, specifically dealing with the giraffe species. I have found that it can control their population and help with conservation efforts. I also see that it brings a lot of tourism and money for your area as well as creating a lot of job opportunities for your citizens. I noticed from looking at the information on your website though, that important facts like these were not openly presented. However, one thing I did see on your site that I did not see on other hunting websites, is the description of the anatomy of the giraffe and where the best place to hit with a bullet would be along with what bullet and gun to use. This statement plays into the fact that you do not want the animal to suffer and teach the public how to correctly shoot the animal so it can die instantly with minimal pain.

                After reading through your website, I believe that stating the benefits that your organization has for not only the people and economy, but how hunting a giraffe can benefit the species through things such as conservation, would be of great benefit to your organization. The public should be aware of how their money would be spent on the art of conservation of the species in order to bring protection to the animal for purpose of continued hunting in the future. Also, much of the public is not aware that giraffe meat can be used for human consumption. Facts such as this and the ones stated above should be presented and explained in ways that the public would be able to understand. This would help calm activists who come across your site along with the possibility of attracting more tourists if they have an idea of the benefits your business brings to both humans and the animal species.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jocelyn Delhotal

"Hunting Services." AfricanSkyHunting.Co. African Sky Hunting, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.http://www.>.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Giraffe Trophy Hunting

     The giraffe is considered a trophy animal to most safari hunters. Trophy hunting is defined as the selective hunting of wild game animals, like that of the giraffe species.  Although parts of the animal are kept as “trophies” by the hunter such as the skin, antlers and head, the carcass can sometimes also be used for food.
     Trophy hunting has become a very controversial topic among hunters and animal rights and welfare groups. As with hunting in general, it has some firm supporters along with some firm opponents. The controversy usually centers on the question of the morality of the sport itself along with the overall question if the sport does in fact benefit the population of the game animals and the local economy from which it comes. Trophy hunting is sometimes related to poaching. This statement is incorrect. Poaching is illegal while trophy hunting is not.

      A trophy from such hunting is often processed by a taxidermist along with parts such as teeth and tusks also being trophy worthy. Such trophies are often displayed in the hunter’s home. Some homes even have special “game rooms” or “trophy rooms” in which the items are displayed. Hunters of giraffes have been known to pay thousands of dollars for their “trophy.” For some, they just want their trophy as a picture next to the animal while others pay even more for a taxidermy and the transportation home.
     Activists who think giraffe trophy hunting should be outlawed everywhere are usually against hunting animals in general. Giraffe hunting though can have some benefits to the community. It can bring in money to its local community along with providing meat since most trophy hunters are in it for the “trophy” aspect, not necessarily the meat itself.  Yes, giraffe meat is in fact edible by humans and is not poisonous. The native trophy hunting assistants are quite often even paid in giraffe meat.
     On the other hand, trophy giraffe hunting has seemed to have a negative effect on the species population. They are currently observed to be extinct in Angola, Mali and Nigeria. According to Dr. Julian Fennessy, the world’s preeminent giraffe specialist and founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, certain countries can allow giraffe hunting. South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe have sustainable populations.
     My view on this controversy is a little biased. I am overall fascinated by the creature and couldn’t imagine ever killing a giraffe on purpose to have its head on my wall. On a more realistic note though, after some research was done, although I would never want to shoot a giraffe, I overall support trophy giraffe hunting. They are legal hunts, performed by professionals on private land. Some may argue that the population numbers of giraffes across Africa are dropping. According to Dr. Fennessy, in the countries where you can legally hunt giraffes, their population numbers are in fact increasing. This shows that if the hunting property and animals are properly managed, the hunting itself can be very sustainable. Not only is trophy giraffe hunting increasing population numbers, but it also helps the local communities. Hunters pay tens of thousands of dollars in order to hunt these giraffes, along with providing meat to the workers of this practice.


1. "Hunters Criticised for Killing Giraffes." Telegraph.Co. Telegraph Media, 11 Oct. 0017. Web. 06
            Nov. 2013. <

2. "Trophy Hunting Giraffe." AfricanSkyHunting.Co. African Sky, 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <http://

3. "Trophy Hunting." OccupyForAnimals.Org. Occupy For Animals, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <http://

4. Fortino, Sebastian. "Sadistic Safari?" TheDailyActivist.Com. The Daily Activist RSS, 2011. Web. 06
           Nov. 2013. <>.

Giraffes and Religion

    The giraffe seems to have a positive impact on religion throughout the world. In New Age religion, giraffes are a symbol for intuition and flexibility due to their ability to move with such grace despite having such long limbs. According to a spirit guide, the giraffe is a symbol of farsightedness or grounded vision. This is because of its ability to see much farther than most other living things. This aspect relates to humans being able to see far into the future. They also seem to reach for things that others wouldn’t even dare to reach for. This connects to a human being able to see above one’s own little problems and being able to look at the bigger picture. Scientifically, giraffes have been known to go a month without water. This is used as a symbol of patience and endurance.  There has even been a curing dance created from observing the species. It has been said that the dance came to a woman in a dream in the 1950’s. She saw a vision of a herd of giraffes running in the rain, their hooves and the raindrops beating a peculiar melody. The vision became the Giraffe Song, which spawned a Giraffe Dance, which in turn started spreading like wildfire. For decades, the Bushmen of the Kalahari area used it as their main hunting dance” (OneKind).


1. Poisuo, Pauli. "10 Fascinating Facts About Giraffes." Listverse. Listverse.Com, 12 Oct. 2013. Web.
           06 Nov. 2013. <>.

2. Watson, Jennifer. "Spirit Guides Giraffe." Spiritual Living 360. SpiritualLiving360.Com, 15 Mar.
           2011. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <

3. "Giraffe." One Kind. OneKind.Org, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <