A German hunter has shot and killed an elephant estimated to have been between 40 and 60 years old in Zimbabwe.

The elephant, which the hunter paid £39,000 to bring down, has been described as one of the largest elephants ever seen in Zimbabwe. It was the first time the bull had been spotted in Gonarezhou National Park.

The tusks of the animal alone weighed around 120lb each.

The German national shot the elephant on a 21-day game hunt and was accompanied by an experienced professional hunter.

The man who arranged the hunt, who wanted to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph:

This was a legal hunt and the client did nothing wrong.

We hunters have thick skins and we know what the greenies will say. This elephant was probably 60 years old and had spread its seed many many times over.

Conservation of species and big game hunting were subject to mainstream media attention nearly three months ago, when the commercially organised illegal hunt of Hwange National Park's beloved Cecil the lion caused international outrage.

Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of Zimbabwe’s Conservation Task Force, told the BBC:

It's hard to swallow that people are just destroying all the majestic animals that we've got in the country.

When you see an animal like that, which you haven't seen for years, you should actually put a collar on him and use him as a marketing tool.

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