Real estate mogul Donald Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, have come under fire after some gruesome photos showing them posing with a dead leopard and holding a severed elephant tail were released online (see them all here). The photos were taken during a hunting trip in Zimbabwe and originally posted on the Hunting Legends website. They were quickly denounced by PETA and other animal rights and conservation groups.
In response to criticism, Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter, repeatedly defending his actions. “[I am] not going to apologize because some eco nuts want me 2,” he tweeted, and added: “I can assure you it was not wasteful the villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat.”
In a statement released to E!, PETA shot back: “Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.” We tend to agree.
Although the Trump boys claim to be proud hunters, and the way the photos are staged suggests that they killed all of those exotic creatures, at least one observer has suggested that the Trumps, like many wealthy hunters, were the beneficiaries of their guides’ hard work.
“The guides do all the work,” travel writer Paula Froelich told the Huffington Post. “They track the animals which are not that hard to find. It’s kind of like finding a rat in New York. Then the ‘hunters’ get out of their jeep, which comes with a fully stocked bar, and get to cut off an elephant’s tail before having another gin and tonic.”