Ben Trovato
6 minute read
3 Aug 2020
1:55 pm

#SpringbokLivesMatter, but those tasty kudus and gemsbok can get it

Ben Trovato

Dear SANParks, I hear you are looking for people to help you kill some animals. Well, look no further. I am your man.

This filthy pandemic and our government’s unhinged response to it has made me very angry. I have been wanting to murder something since March. Thing is, you kill a person these days and you can go to jail for up to, I don’t  know, what’s the going rate … two weeks? A month?

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Thanks to you, I now have the perfect opportunity to vent my frustrations by shooting vicious beasts in the face with no consequences whatsoever. To be honest, I always thought SANParks was in the conservation business. I imagined you to be a bunch of pony-tailed bull hippies who would sooner die than see harm come to a piece of critically endangered fynbos, let alone a sentient creature.

I am delighted you have proved me wrong.

The hit list is impressive, even by my homicidal standards. Within the next eight months, you want to see 200 gemsboks, 100 kudus, 590 ostriches and 1 400 warthogs dead.

I have a friend who has a pet warthog. Might as well start with him. Oh, wait. This is not a free for-all jamboree of death. Apparently the animals live inside our national parks. Even better. The
dumb brutes can’t escape.

What a pity tourism is banned.

The sound of gunshots ringing out across our game reserves would add tremendously to the authentic African experience.

Did these animals do something to piss you off? Never mind.

It’s not my business what goes on between you and your game. I’m sure whatever they did, they deserve to be punished.

I imagine ostriches need regular disciplining. Get too close and they’ll have your watch and wallet in no time at all. And if you want your valuables back, you have to cut open their stomachs and fish
them out. That’s assuming they don’t kick you in the head with that weird slashing leg action.

Their knees bend the wrong way. It’s unnatural. For that alone, they deserve to die.

As for the warthogs, there must be a reason you want more of them dead than any other animal. They are arrogant, to be sure. Trotting about with their tails up in the air as if they own the place. Looking busy but never accomplishing much. Wallowing in filth. They are the Cabinet ministers of the bushveld.

So, you want to get rid of a thousand of them in the Addo Elephant Park alone. Rightly so. Did they not see the sign? Are they under the impression this is the Addo Warthog Park? It’s more
likely that they just don’t care.

They’ll do whatever they please and expect the rest of us to put up with it. Like I said, politicians.Oh, look! There are more animals on the hit list than I thought.

The Mokala National Park needs to get rid of 200 springboks. Don’t let sports fans hear this or social media will be swamped with #AllSpringbokLivesMatter. Were there complaints about the pronking? It can get annoying. Why can’t they just walk like normal buck? I intend using surface-to-air missiles to bring them down.

I had to Google Mokala to find out where it is and I must say, it would take more than the promise of a bit of slaughtering to get me to visit the Northern Cape.

The tagline on your page for this park reads: “Where endangered species roam.”

You might think springboks are vermin now, but they’ll be endangered by the time  I’m finished with them. Twenty waterbucks in Mokala have also apparently overstayed their welcome.

This will teach them. You’re either a land-based animal or you’re aquatic. It’s about time they decided who they are. Next thing you know, they’re identifying as eagles. We can’t have that going on.

A hundred kudus in Addo and 200 gemsboks in Namakwa National Park also have targets on their yummy asses. I’m sure they don’t mind. They know how good they taste. In their world, it’s an
honour to be turned into stew or biltong so that we, the apex species, may enjoy them even more.

They’re probably jostling among themselves for the privilege of taking a bullet as we speak.

The fun and carnage in Addo never ends, this time with 100 zebras marked down for dead.

If you’re on your very first game drive and you come from, say, Poland, you might stop and take a picture of a zebra. Otherwise you’re hooting and throwing empty beer cans at them to get out of the road. All they’re really famous for is giving their name to a road crossing on which our pedestrians regularly die.

Then it’s on to Camdeboo National Park, where 10 fallow deer are dead buck walking.

I’d rather not shoot them, to be honest. We sing about jolly good fallows. Also, they are, like men, a polygynous species.

And, much like us, they fight for access to females in estrous. Best of all, the females have a preference for larger males and age is not an important factor. That’s my demographic right there.

On the other hand, fallow deer are from Europe. Bloody foreigners. Coming over here thinking they’re better than us. Maybe I’ll shoot them after all.

I’m going to need to hire a few trucks. Hundreds of bleeding bodies strapped to the top of my Subaru would attract the attention of feral cats, stray dogs and hungry policemen.

Hold on. You say payment must be up front. So I pay you to get rid of your animals? Talk about blood money. Fair enough, I guess You’re a government agency so it should be expected that nothing
makes sense.

You say that “disguised trophy hunting” and posing with carcasses won’t be allowed. Kind of takes the fun out of it, old sport. What’s the point of risking getting gin all down your shirt while opening up with a Glock 18 on full automatic if you can’t get a photo of yourself afterwards, pretending to play violin on an ostrich’s neck with a warthog draped over your shoulders?

So if it’s not trophy hunting, what exactly is it? Am I shooting for the pot? I don’t know, mate.

I’m happy to pay for the simple pleasure of killing, but if I wanted meat that badly, Pick n Pay is a lot closer than Camdeboo. I suppose I could start a modest belt, bag and shoe industry from the ostriches.

And zebra skin face masks would be a big hit.

Here’s an idea. Why not just introduce predators to take care of your surplus? Like it used to work in the old days. Before humans were around. We do, after all, have a government that supports
the hunting of captive lions so there are plenty of them around.

Let the lions eat the herbivores, then bring in trophy hunters to kill the lions. You’d make more money that way.

It’s like if the poor ate the rich, the problems of unregulated capitalism and world hunger would be solved at the same time.

Anyway, let me go and buy some weapons. I know a guy who’s got a special on M26 grenades this week. Perfect for the warthogs.

See you in the bar. Well, you’d call it a hide, I suppose.

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