If there was ever any doubt that hunting’s victims can suffer long after the first shot is fired, take a look at Grace, a deer who had an arrow from a botched hunt lodged in her face for the better part of a year. Despite the pain she undoubtedly endured during this time, she managed to give birth to and care for her fawn, who appears healthy in the following video:
An online petition was created to help the arrow-struck deer, and it took wildlife officials months to track her down. Finally, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife said that wildlife experts were able to tranquilize her and cut off the shaft of the arrow, so Grace no longer runs the risk of snagging the arrow shaft on something that could cause her even more harm. Officials decided to leave the arrowhead in place since Grace’s skin around it had already healed.
— New Jersey 101.5 (@nj1015) September 1, 2015
Even though Grace survived and will continue to care for her fawn, many victims of hunting are not so lucky. Bowhunters often spend hours tracking the blood trails of wounded animals, and many victims are lost only to succumb unseen to their injuries. Families are torn apart, and orphaned young are left to starve. High-profile stories like the slaying of Cecil the lion remind us that victims’ deaths are not always instantaneous—Cecil suffered for 40 hours with a steel arrow lodged in his body before he was shot and killed.
Some believe hunting is “necessary” to combat the overpopulation of wildlife, but natural processes work to stabilize groups of animals. While natural predators help maintain the balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals, hunters kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace—including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep populations strong. When human hunters interfere, the natural balance is disrupted.
What You Can Do
Don’t hunt, and encourage others to abandon this cruel activity. Don’t allow other animals to suffer like Grace did.