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Zimbabwe elephant hunter: Peta claims German businessman Rainer Schorr killed animal

Animal was believed to be between 30 to 40 years old and its death provoked outrage

Rose Troup Buchanan
Wednesday 21 October 2015 13:28 BST
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14 elephants were poisoned across two national parks
14 elephants were poisoned across two national parks (Getty Images)

A German property millionaire has been named by an animal rights organisation as the man believed to have shot a huge African elephant on a hunt in Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Rainer Schorr, CEO of property company Rainer Schorr Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (RBS), is alleged to have killed the bull elephant during a legal hunt on 7 October in Malipati safari area.

When photographs of the hunt were widely shared online, animal rights group Peta placed a £730 reward for information surrounding the incident.

The animal is believed to have been the largest elephant – its tusk weighing 110lbs each – killed in an African hunt in almost 30 years.

Mr Schorr, described as a father-of-one, denied the allegations, telling the Daily Telegraph they “had the wrong person” as he was attending a trade fair in Munich, sourthern Germany when the hunt took place.

It has been reported three individuals have separately identified Mr Schorr as the man who paid an estimated £39,000 for a permit to shoot the animal on a 21-day hunt that included targeting lions, leopards, buffalo and rhinoceros as well.

“Those big elephants, that’s not really the challenge. I don’t know why you do that nowadays,” a former business associate of Mr Schorr told the Telegraph.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed he was surprised when he saw the pictures because after the furore surrounding the killing of Cecil the lion this summer, he felt it was “no longer the time when you can do something like that.” , but that “On the other side, you have to be realistic, when that guy pays for a hunt, which is legal in Zimbabwe, you do nothing wrong according to national laws.”

Cecil, a beloved black-mane lion who lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, was killed with a bow and arrow by US dentist Walter Palmer this summer. The case provoked outrage and reignited a long-running debate on trophy hunting.

The anonymous former business associate alleged hunting was a “passion” of Mr Schorr. He also claimed the 53-year-old businessman owned a 12,000-13,000 estate in Namibia.

“This cowardly, miserable trophy hunter thought he could get away with gunning down a majestic elephant, posing with his corpse and concealing these despicable actions from the public”, the organisation’s US President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.

When contacted by The Independent Mr Schorr’s RBS office declined to comment.

Hunting in Zimbabwe is permitted in certain areas. Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the area was being leased to the Chiredzi Rural District council, under a scheme allowing local areas to benefit from the trophy-hunting revenue. There are just over 11,000 elephants in the reserve.

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