Death in the Wilderness

Wid dogs and lechwe kill. Mark Tennant
The death of an animal affects humans in different ways and the way of the death plays a huge part in how humans react to the incidents. The adrenaline pumping excitement of a kill as opposed to the stench of putrefying flesh nauseates us, although it is as much part of the experience of Africa as the hunt itself.Seeing an elephant lying helplessly on the ground, [futile] kicking out at the presence of lions, is a heart-rending experience and then seeing the last light in an elephant's eye as its time approaches shakes something from deep within our souls.Is it a feeling of grief at the death of an icon, revealing our human nature in the worship of gods and celebrity, or is it merely a sadness at the death of a creature we have associated with intelligence and wisdom from early childhood.

The feelings are not the same as those revealed at the death of smaller, or lesser, creatures for when the smaller creatures are been pursued the feeling is more of excitement at an impending drama.

Leigh Kemp
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