Why are we still hunting Elephants for – Adrenaline Junkies.
As the elephant took a mouthful of food the hunter pulled the trigger exploding a bullet into the back of elephants head leaving this magnificent beast writhing on the ground in a pool of its own blood. What a cowardly bastard.
Why are we still hunting elephants for? This is a question I constantly ask oneself, why? What encourages a hunter to hunt Elephants for? Power, adrenalin, or the fear than an elephant could kill the hunter?.. Much research I undertook about hunters back in the 1990’s revealed that many hunters feel the need to hunt (dangerous game) due to the thrill and rapid adrenalin rush, the cardiac muscle beats faster and harder, surges of hormones are released and the “type” of sexual gratification which has been said to be addictive continues to push hunters to kill more and more.
Back in 1994 I researched a group of American game hunters from Dallas Safari Club. I found in my research that vast surges of adrenalin was mainly responsible for hunters hunting larger and more dangerous game [this of course is not uncommon to most people]. The “adrenalin rush” is in a sense though addictive especially when in the heat of the moment or leading up to a “fight or flight scenario”. In medical terminology we better describe this type of behavior as Impulse Control Disorder (ICD) which is a class of psychiatric disorders characterized by impulsivity – failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself, others or in this case the “impulse to kill more dangerous and bigger” game.
These “type” of psychiatric disorders concern oneself more than say those whom have been abused. Furthermore are these type of psychiatric disorders the reason why so many more game hunters are entering Africa to kill. Lastly while the hunter is lavishing within the trills of killing does such killing displayed in videos such as YouTube encourage other people not within the hunting theater to become active in the killing fields? The answer to them two questions is yes, to what extent though I and Professor A. Ball are still investigating in great depth. I’ve included a YouTube video for you to better understand what I am explaining.
As one can clearly see within the video the hunt is very action packed, emotionally charged and driven, one can just feel the edge and thrill. This leads me to my next issue and question which is – why are online video sites such as YouTube allowing such imagery to be broadcast? Research has already proven as of 2010 that large and medium sized game from lions to elephants, antelope and giraffe for instance are not as densely populated within Africa as they were over two decades ago. Hunting activities have been noted to have dropped quite significantly.. Not because activism is stopping hunters or even restrictions but literally because there have been major reductions in wildlife populations over the course of the past twenty years..
Keeping to the main subject many psychiatric disorders feature impulsivity, including substance-related disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, conduct disorder, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Please note that I nor my colleague are labeling any hunter or huntress with any form of mental illness, disorder or disease[s]. We are merely both stating that many hunters we have interviewed such behavioral characteristics have been noted. Hunters are not the only people that can suffer from adrenalin addiction or Impulse Control Disorder, everyone can at some stage in their life suffer from such neurological disturbances, disorders or addictions.
We can all relate to such hormonal and chemical discharges within the brain and body when we were children for example, many youths would feel such rushes of adrenalin within their childhood: Examples of this can be stealing money, their first kiss, sexual activity or as explained participating in an activity that is either immorally wrong or incredibly dangerous.
2004 I researched weather adrenalin was either “psychologically addictive or physically addictive” within youths and weather such addictiveness then spurned youths through their adulthood to then move onto more dangerous activities such as murder, rape, burglaries or in this case large game hunting. Our research thus far has proved such cases of early adrenalin addictiveness and Impulse Control Disorder does in deed in many cases if not monitored or treated later leads to more dangerous activities carried out simply for the sheer “rush or natural high”.
Research carried out by previous consultants and scientists had already proved adrenalin was in a way (psychologically addictive), however never did the research focus on weather such addictiveness spurned individuals in the trophy hunting industry say, to then move onto more dangerous game or even murder. Within this brief article the attention focuses on what drives a trophy hunter to kill more larger and dangerous game, the thrills they obtain and the after-effects of such behavior. The article is not focusing on mass murder, abuse, or anything other than what has been explained.
Myself Dr Jose Depre and Professor Adriana Ball consultant Forensic Psychiatrist have now completed our findings on [What spurs a hunter to kill].. This research document (to be released soon in the Online Scientific Studies of Neurological Disorders in Sweden) 1/6 was aimed at showing other examples as to why trophy hunters hunt. Article  details children that were abused that then become the abuser will hopefully be released this June. Please note this is not the title of the 4th article and should one wish to purchase that article in paper back you will need to contact myself nearer the time when I release this book in leading high-street stores..
So is it correct to say that adrenalin is an addictive chemical release that can lead an individual say a trophy hunter, in this case to turn into a dangerous game hunter? Furthermore like opiates or illicit narcotics when one becomes use to the highs of such neurological and/or synthetic pleasures will the individual turn to more dangerous and destructive activities, is adrenalin in its self additive too? Indeed it is of which can be quite difficult for a sufferer to overcome, furthermore failing to treat the sufferer that is clearly on a mission to kill more and more then its quite right to say that adrenalin can lead to more destructive activities being played out. Would this be then the main reason as to why hunters that start of killing small game then go on to killing larger and more dangerous game, in this instance elephants?
The answer to that question is yes. Its quite wrong though to state that “trophy” hunters whom kill animals kill because they were abused as children, or have small penises, lack femininity and masculinity, or need to prove oneself. While there is evidence relating to such human past and present behavior regarding abuse and lack of say (masculinity) there is by far more evidence within the scientific world that indicates and proves hunters can suffer from Impulse Control Disorder or are addicted to adrenaline and noradrenline which are two separate but related hormones and neurotransmitters.
I myself would be more concerned about an “unstable” hunter that is suffering from (ICD) and/or addiction to adrenaline and noradrenline than say, an unstable hunter that needs to prove oneself, or has been abused as a child. Child abuse indeed “may” lead to more sinister and violent activities carried out by the abused however counselling and cognitive therapy can in many cases solve these problems if caught in the early stages before onset of serious mental illness. Proving oneself or weather the individual feels they lack masculinity or femininity is easily treated again with therapy, of which is more a low key behavioral and complex problem treated by a Psychologist rather than a Psychiatrist. Medication is rarely required too.
While the elephant is indeed the prime catch for many experienced hunters and huntresses, the main reasons trophy hunters, say, will hunt is literally for this sheer addictive pleasure of knowing they’re pushing dangerous limits.. In a way one could say that hunting dangerous game is more identical to ones first time stealing from a sweet shop, or being dared by a mate to do something that is either dangerous or very wrong.. Like small game hunting the thrill and adrenalin is there and identical to that of stealing, both hunter and common thief feel the urge after their first mission to push for bigger and better trophies, the need to fulfill ones inner desires is a crave that in itself is very addictive.
Over the past fifteen years I have interviewed many hunters and poachers around the globe of which in my findings I have found that most hunters and illegal poachers that start of with say, small game suffer from as explained Impulse control disorder and adrenaline addictiveness behavioral problems. What I myself did note is that these “obsessive behaviors” seem more related to (trophy hunters) rather than (hunters for food). Trophy hunters are themselves hunting for the sheer thrill while (hunters for food) take only what they require. Furthermore there was quite a lack of “obsessive characteristics” in poachers – which is mainly because they themselves are either being given the order to kill say a Rhino or elephant.
This infant elephant was hunted for what reasons we’ll never fully understand. The elephant posed no threat, it wasn’t a problem animal, in pain nor suffering. There is no real trophy to take home, no tusks, Why?
Elephants are to myself a magnificent gentle giant that has roamed the plains of Africa for hundreds of years. Identified by Dr Blumenbach in 1797 the species listed below killed by Mr Jofie Lamprecht being the African Elephant scientifically identified as Loxodonta africana has been hunted now for hundreds of years. This particular hunter caught my eye, not because of the fact he slaughtered this colossally sized African elephant but more the speech he made after the killing aka [trophy] hunt.. That speech can be read below which is typical and classical behavior of an individual suffering from Impulse Control Disorder and adrenaline addictiveness behavioral problems.
The speech reads:
I honor you my friend. I will follow your round and oval until the end of my time. May your presence in the wilds of Africa continue so that generations from now my prodigy may view your glorious splendor and hunt you like I have had the privilege of doing. Thank you for walking the trails of Africa. Thank you that I can hunt you. Your protein now fills the bellies of many in the surrounding villages. The money you generated will in good faith preserve these wild lands there you walk for your prodigy to be safe and grow old.
Farewell my friend. I will join you when it is my time.
The speech is classical to that of the war with Veii and the Etruscans, under Servius Tullius of which the Rome’s sixth King Servius Tullius went to war with Veii (after the expiry of an earlier truce) and with the Etruscans. King Servius Tullius like many Roman warlords had to prove themselves -fight to the death, after fighting such a glorious and splendid battle did they then lay down their arms and celebrate with a triumph speech. Mr Jofie Lamprecht is in reality no different to King Servius Tullius – however King Servius Tullius was more gentleman like.
Many people have problems that occur repetitively, disrupt their lives and seem completely out of control. Sometimes we’re asked if these problems are examples of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). And indeed, there are some similarities to OCD. Nevertheless, these problems are not considered to be in the same category. So what are we talking about here? Specifically, we’re referring to the category of emotional disorders known as Impulse Control Disorders. The similarity to OCD is seen in the fact that impulse control disorders, like OCD, are repetitive and very difficult for the person to bring under control. Furthermore, like OCD, they greatly disrupt and impair the sufferers’ lives. However, Impulse Control Disorders also differ from OCD in important ways. Impulse Control Disorders, unlike OCD, often do not cause a great deal of distress to the person who has them—that is, unless or until legal authorities are called in. Furthermore, distress, anxiety and upset do not play a very large role in most Impulse Control Disorders. In fact, many of those with Impulse Control Disorders actually report feeling pleasure from their behaviors even though their lives are impaired by them.
When I myself and Professor Ball interviewed all hunters not one hunter showed any signs of distress, anxiety and upset, the last of the hunters whom we interviewed this past month hadn’t hunted elephants or dangerous game such as elephants or lions, rhinos or wildebeest.
No empathy or guilt was shown when they were shown images and videos of other hunters killing. However what was shown on the sudorometer and electrocardiograph was increased heart rate and perspiration which indicated to ourselves that the interviewees were feeling excited. When shown video imagery from YouTube levels of sweat and heart rate increased by 2.5% When asked if “If you had the chance to hunt an elephant now would you do it?” 19/27 hunters said yes. So in reality when we question ourselves why are we still killing elephants, or any dangerous game its quite right to say programs on television and YouTube really are not doing our wildlife any form of good. For example if your shown a video of a chocolate bar advertisement from which you’ve never indulged in that sweet the chances are “that advertisement” will encourage you to purchase that sweet.
The full results of the above examination and all test experiments will be released later this year.
Looking at our past we can also see that elephants were not just hunted for the sheer fun of it..The main reason that elephants were hunted was for their ivory. This is worth a ton of money and so huge numbers of elephants were slaughtered in order to be able to cash in on such a business. With each tusk weighing up to 200 pounds, this was amazing. Early attempts to remove the ivory tusks and to leave the elephants alive didn’t work. The elephants were simply too aggressive for this type of process and it was too dangerous for humans to take part in.
Elephants are taking quite a hit all over Africa and its quite evident from past research and present researching “why” elephants were and still are legally hunted. One cannot just point the blame at natural neurological issues though as I myself have explained, above I’ve clearly detailed why [we still are hunting] from past to present but more from a different perspective of things.
Moving back to just how big a problem adrenalin addictiveness and Impulse Control Disorder’s can be – curing such disorders that are quite natural is more easier said than done. At the end of the day its down the individual hunter and huntresses to come forward should they feel they have an “obsession” or (ICD). One cannot force a hunter to visit a therapist however what we can do is make aware the problems that some hunters if not all believe is quite actually typically normal behavior. One very good article that I do suggest people read is that of Serial Offenders which details much of the above in this book, however its very broken down. Read more here.
Excessive adrenaline build up changes a trophy hunters physiology. The trophy hunter becomes sensitized to the epinephrine and used to what it does to them. Initially it may be difficult to cope with, but after awhile, the individual becomes so accustomed to it that you can function. This is not always the case though as it has been noted adrenaline junkies feed of such fear which in turn provides a type of sexual gratification afterwards and relaxation. Adrenaline sends your brain into full throttle and your wit becomes majorly amplified. This is because your slower brainwaves in the alpha and theta ranges become severely diminished. Alpha rhythms are drowned out by high amounts of mid and high-range beta brainwaves. This leads to further production of dopamine, epinephrine, and cortisol. Trophy hunters have long stated that the majority of the time they hunt is not for the actual trophy but more the “adrenaline hit”.
Author Louis Schlesinger quoted as Professor Ball did “emotional, impulsive murderers are less able to regulate and control aggressive impulses”. If you’ve being paying attention and scroll back up to the very top of the article one will read very identical characteristics relating to narcissistic psychopathic murderers to that of those whom kill large game, dangerous game and small game…
Treatment of Impulse Control Disorders has lagged behind the treatment of many other emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. There are some indications that treatments such as Habit Reversal Training may have value for Trichotillomania. However, most of the Impulse Control Disorders beg for more research on potential treatments. Of course, even if we had a plethora of effective treatments, there’s still the problem that most of those with Impulse Control Disorders aren’t all that interested in getting help. Sigh.
Why are we hunting Elephants again?
Thank you for reading – Stay tuned for my book on Impulse Control Disorders and Trophy Hunting.
Dr Jose C. Depre Md, VetMed, EnvStu, Phd