Are you qualified to operate just because you think you know?

My response to the article Timbavati risks tourist backlash to hunt a super tusker – the Daily Maverick

8 March 2017

Don Pinnock, as a journalist,  may have a way with words but his assumption that he is an authority on wildlife management and hunting issues is way off beam.  There is nothing in his history that qualifies him to pontificate on such matters as the hunting of an elephant at Timbavati.  His only qualification in that regard is that he is a died-in-the wool animal rightist and what he wants, together with all his other animal rightists friends, is the abolition of ALL hunting not just the hunting of THIS particular elephant.  I cannot tell readers HOW to think, but I hope this little pearl of wisdom will forewarn the uninitiated just what his motives are.



A group of people who feels more qualified than authorities on wildlife management to make decisions on whether to cull or not… 


Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience:

Ron Thomson has 279 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

One thought on “Are you qualified to operate just because you think you know?

  • Hi Ron

    Go for it. Stay well


    Peter Ginn


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