BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe – Most of us know the philosophical riddle, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” What about if a tourist to Africa comes to hunt elephant, but doesn’t see any elephant – does that mean elephant do not exist?
A Polish tourist to Zimbabwe lost his case against a specialist travel agency in a court in Poznan, western Poland. He claimed that the travel agency failed to lay on elephants for him to shoot on safari.
Waldemar I. (name withheld under Polish privacy law), hired German-based firm Jaworski Jagreisen to arrange a shooting safari in Zimbabwe. When he got there, however, the plains of that part of Zimbabwe were elephant-free zones and he returned home empty handed.
Without a pair of tusks as a trophy, he decided to sue the travel company, claiming that he had not seen any elephants in the area. However, the judge was not swayed by the plaintiff’s plight.
“The fact that elephants were not encountered during the hunt does not testify that elephants were not there,” the judge surmised, philosophically.