An 18-year-old student from Truro High School for Girls has written an academic research paper uncovering the truth about South Africa’s canned hunting trade and questioning whether the practice, which involves killing captive-bred wild animals in small enclosures, should be part of modern society.

Year 13 Sage has written the research paper as part of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

She was inspired to undertake the paper by her time volunteering at a wildlife conservation reserve in Botswana, following her GCSE exams in the summer of 2019.

Sage undertook extensive academic research as part of the project including interviewing leading African wildlife conservationist and founder of the NGO Campaign Against Canned Hunting, Chris Mercer. Chris was impressed by the quality of Sage’s research, which she hopes to publish in an academic journal.

She said: “Primary research is an important part of the EPQ so getting an interview with Chris was fantastic. He’s one of the world’s leading specialists on canned hunting and was so enthusiastic about the project – it’s really exciting.”

It’s a busy time for Sage, who will be putting her investigative skills to use later this week when she joins a select team of journalists reporting on the G7 summit. The Young People’s News Hub will involve a small team of young journalists reporting on the comings and goings of Carbis Bay, as leaders from some of the world’s most influential countries meet there to discuss major global issues.