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The Shropshire man behind callous African hunting firm

By Lucy Todman | Oswestry | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A former Oswestry man is running a hunt in South Africa where people can pay thousands of pounds to shoot wildlife, including lions and rhinos.

Alex Goss, from Oswestry, with a dead lionness

Alex Goss charges trophy hunters thousands of pounds to kill animals including lions that have been bred and raised in captivity.

It appears he is the only British operator to advertise and organise "canned hunts" – where lions bred in captivity are pursued and shot in fenced enclosures.

He owns and manages Blackthorn Safaris, and divides his time between bird-shooting and deer hunts in the UK and big-game hunts in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Advertising the services of the Blackthorn Safari company

In a series of photographs on his website, which has now been taken down, he is pictured posing dead wildlife including a dead hippo, a pair of zebras, a male lion and a lioness.

He also offers leopard and elephant hunts.

In recent days he has taken down all his social media pages and references to his business have been removed from the internet.

He has been hunting since the age of five and has subsequently been stalking and killing animals all over the world.

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Until three years ago, his father is believed to have owned a safari lodge near Kimberley.

Mr Goss with a dead lion

Game hunters are offered a package with Blackthorn where they are charged up to £13,000 for a five-day lion hunt. Based at a five-star lodge described as a "slice of paradise in the bush" the guests are on the edge of the Kalahari desert.

In promotional literature, potential clients are shown the variety of animals which could be stalked and killed.

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"The Kalahari is the perfect place to hunt these cats," the Blackthorn Safari website said.

"The views are absolutely breathtaking and with vast numbers of wildlife, it is an adventurers’ paradise."

While there is no suggestion that Blackthorn Safaris have broken any laws, campaigners voiced disgust at the involvement of a British operator in the grisly lion trophy hunting industry.

"For a British company apparently to be actively organising canned lion hunts will make people sick to the stomach," said Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting.

"It’s general practice in this industry for lion cubs to be ripped from their mothers a few days or hours after birth.

"They are then reared in captivity to be shot for entertainment."

Mr Goss was unavailable for comment and attempts to contact his family in Shropshire were unsuccessful.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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