Celebrities gathering to denounce trophy hunting got serious pushback from an unexpected direction… a beauty queen.
She was Mrs Nebraska, to be specific. She’s serious about trophy hunting and will defend it against the Celebrity scolds who denounce hunting as ‘evil’.
(You’d think they might save some of that outrage for the predators preying on young women in their own industry, instead of making a hero out of, for example, Roman Polanski.)
Here is a photo Olivia Opre took, standing with some of her trophies.
Beautiful, right? Not everyone thinks so.
The anti-hunting crowd, for instance. But she has something to say to them in her TV interview:
Olivia is no ‘rookie’ hunter. She’s shot about 100 species of animals over 6 continents. Forty safaris over 8 African nations. She knows a thing or two about what she’s talking about. But you can probably tell that by looking at her trophy room.
Olivia Opre, 41, appeared on ITV’s This Morning via live video link from her home in Wyoming, where she discussed the reaction to her friend and fellow hunter Britney Longoria who recently posed with a large male leopard that she had shot.
The mother-of-four, who was stood in front of an enormous stuffed lion and lioness in her home that she had killed, said that the reason she takes part is to get close to nature.
She said: ‘I think what it is, it’s bringing me to a place where I get to be a part of these wild places. And amongst the people of these areas, it’s the adventure, it’s the pursuit.
‘It’s something that pushes you to a limit you are not comfortable with and it takes you out of your comfort zone and for me hunting is just being in the wild.’
‘Ultimately hunters are the ones giving so much back to preserving these wild species,’ Olivia said.
‘How is that possible by killing an animal how is that giving back to the species? How? that doesn’t make sense,’ a desparing Holly asked.
‘There’s a lot of places where no photographers are going to go to Liberia and take a photograph but hunters have a desire to go to new places and as a result of these hunters coming in they are creating jobs.’
She also said that there was continued anti-poaching efforts, and reiterated that poaching was illegal and hunting was not and helped conservation.
It’s a tough idea for some of these utopians in their gated communities to wrap their heads around. But it’s basic human nature.
For the locals — many of whom are fighting just to survive in an environment where so much is stacked against them, whether poverty, wild animal threats or other people — wild animals are simply another detail that complicates their world.
If something is seen to have value, it will be protected. If it does not, it will not. Celebrities lecturing locals about what they ‘should’ value won’t put food on the table.
On the other hand, if the big game animals particular to Africa, for instance, are seen as a valuable resource — one that will help provide food, water, education, industry and medicine to a local community that is otherwise on the edge of survival, there is motivation to protect the overall health of those herds.
Wildlife management becomes a goal the locals’ own survival will be vitally connected to. And poachers, rather than being strangers who ridding local farmers of beasts that threaten their herds become an existential threat to the survival of the village… a threat that is vigorously defended against.
Motivating the locals to protect the herds against poachers protects the wildlife… and lawful, well-regulated hunting is the engine that drives that.
What’s so hard to understand?