San Diego’s John Ireland today sent a photo of himself behind a great horned beast he shot from about 20 yards–with a tranquilizer dart, as part of a scientific expedition on Lalibela Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Hunters pay for the thrill of a hunt, and the money goes toward research.
“I’d never kill a rhino, so this was a real opportunity,” Ireland said. “The sedative takes seven to ten minutes to take effect, so there’s a little more danger involved than a normal rifle hunt. There was a vet in attendance to make sure the rhino would be OK. He took blood and DNA samples to check the animal’s health and for research. The best part of the hunt was watching the rhino get up and walk away.”
Southland anglers might recognize Ireland. He owns Rancho Leonero Resort in the East Cape region of Baja California. Interestingly, the resort, which rests on a bluff overlooking the Sea of Cortez, is on property once owned by Gil Powell, a late wildlife cinematographer who was filming in Africa so often that Mexican locals began calling him “El Leonero.” That loosely translates into “the one who knows lions” and his ranch was named Rancho Leonero.
Ireland will not be changing the name. Rancho Rhinoceros, he said, isn’t quite as glamorous.
Photo by Andrew Austin
Source: Los Angeles Times