“Canned” always signals a welcome improvement — whether it’s canned meat, canned asparagus, or canned hunts. A canned hunt is one in which the prey is an animal raised in captivity and confined in a small area so the “hunter” can shoot it at close range. Usually with some trees around, for that authentic woodsy feel. Not quite as easy as firing a few rounds into a venison steak, but close. Canned hunts are popular in the states, for those hunters-on-the-go who just can’t wander around all day looking for prey, and because they’re fairly idiot-proof (unless you go shooting your partner in the face).
But sadly, South Africa just passed a law that takes the best part out of going on a big-game safari in the deepest jungles of Africa: the convenience. Canned hunts for wealthy tourists, or “tinned hunts” for wealthy British tourists, are a multi-million dollar industry in South Africa.
Prices paid ranged from $25 for pigeons and quail to $25,000 for a white rhinoceros. Breeders have used crossbreeding and genetic manipulation to make the potential trophies more appealing — by producing large numbers of albino lions, for instance.
When the new law was passed, breeders were working on their most appealing hunting trophy yet: animals with their heads pre-mounted on wooden plaques.