By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
@body:Although an avid SCI supporter, Mark Sullivan despairs of ever truly convincing the masses that the hunting he loves is anything less than brutal exploitation. One detects a sense of fatalism about the long-term survival of African hunting. "Like most great things in life," he says, "you can't really understand safari unless you experience it. And for most people, it just costs too much to go themselves and see it from my perspective."
That aside, Sullivan is more than able to console himself with a lifestyle in which he revels and his self-appointed role as big-game-hunting advocate. At the moment, he is consumed with plans for a spinoff African enterprise that will provide guided fishing and photography trips on Tanzanian rivers. And he has plenty to ponder. In keeping with his fascination with keeping true to the historical traditions of hunting, he is busy wondering how history will view him.
"I will never be a rich man," he says. "But I will leave behind something that a lot more successful people than me can't. I will leave behind something that has to do with the true Africa."
That legacy, as he sees it, are his videos. Sullivan says he dreams that in 50 years, when both he and African big-game hunting may have passed from the scene, public broadcasting stations will air the films, "to show what real hunting was really like."
"Perhaps I was born too late," he sighs. "I should have been alive in the 1920s, in the golden age of African hunting. But I want those who come after me, my grandchildren who I don't even have yet, to look back and say, 'Yeah, this guy hunted the right way, for the right reasons.'"
Looking up at the walls, where the countless heads stare back with lifeless, black-marble eyes, Sullivan smiles. "Maybe by then people will have returned to the idea that hunting is good. Maybe by then everyone will understand.
I have no quams with people eating what they kill and hunting for that purpose. I have a hard time swallowing the rheteric behind trophy killings. Blood thirsty killers, probably not, but claiming trophies under the guise of "wildlife conservation" is simply perverse.