Hagerman says that many hunting outfitters allow clients to kill extra elephants because they can double, triple and sometimes quadruple their money depending on how many extra elephants are killed, even though they have violated the official government quota of permits.
But bribing government officials in charge of permits with cash and prostitutes, says Hagerman, was a constant and easy exercise. At one time she handed over US $30,000 to an official to issue additional permits illegally.
Blood Ivory also highlights claims that in countries like Zimbabwe, the spoils of trophy hunting are not funding conservation but instead financing the notoriously violent dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. This is a not a new accusation. A 2014 report from Born Free, a wildlife conservation nonprofit organization, and C4ADS, a conflict and security analysis firm, have fingered the Mugabe regime as the major benefactors of hunting elephants.
The Zimbabwean president has gone on record as saying that "elephants need to pay for their room and board with their ivory." They do. But, says Hagerman, Mugabe won't share sport-hunting revenue with his people, or give it to conservation. "He could care less about conservation," she says.