Trump sons' Zimbabwe hunt legal

2012-03-26 22:50

Harare - Zimbabwe's parks authority on Monday said US property magnate Donald Trump's sons were licenced to hunt game on a trip two years ago, after photos of their trophies sparked online outrage.

Trump's sons Donald Junior and Eric made a hunting expedition in Zimbabwe in 2010. Their pictures went viral on social media this month, showing them posing next to carcasses of a leopard, an elephant, a crocodile and an array of other animals.

The images drew condemnation on Facebook and Twitter, where their hunting trip was slammed as unethical. Donald Trump Jr has insisted on Twitter that he did nothing wrong.

"They were accompanied by a professional hunter, and we have done a background check on him and his licence is still valid," Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokesperson for the parks authority said in a statement.

"Also with the Trump brothers was a ranger from the parks department who was monitoring the hunt. The animals they hunted are available for hunting in Zimbabwe."

Although leopards are endangered, she said they can be hunted under strict conditions set by the Convention for the Trade in Endangered Species. Zimbabwe's parks have a quota of 500 leopards that can be hunted each year, she added.

The statement came after Johnny Rodriguez, chair of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said his organisation was investigating whether the Trump brothers' hunt was legal.

The trip was organised by Pretoria-based Hunting Legends International, which specialises in big game hunts for the wealthy. The company has also insisted that the big game hunt near Victoria Falls was done by the book.

  • Margaret - 2012-03-27 00:51

    Who is this convention for the trade in endangered species? Either an animal is endangered or it isn't. Oh the power of money.

      Jacob - 2012-03-27 03:47

      Just another bunch of oxygen thieves destroying and decimating wildlife & the environment for their so called conservation practices and helping our spiralling out of control human population thats breeding like rats! Trophy hunting is a barbaric relic of colonialism and should be banned!

      Denny - 2012-03-27 10:20

      @Jacob - Professional hunting does not destroy/decimate the environment. It does the exact opposite. Hunting ranches place an actual value of their stock. In essence the wild game become a commodity much like a farmer's cows. This creates a strong reason for hunting ranches to conserve and increase their stock holdings. I personally find trophy hunting to be disgusting but I certainly support the industry. I've seen the benefits it brings to communities *AND* wildlife on farms on a first hand basis. Do some research online and you will see the evidence to back this up.

  • Rodi - 2012-03-27 01:25

    Why in Gods name would one hunt down a leopard for a trophy goes beyond understanding.

      Peter - 2012-03-27 06:54

      It is weird, I agree. And a crocodile. What sense of achievement is it to kill creatures you have no intention of eating, creatures that are not threatening you in any manner. I can understand hunting for biltong, but trophy hunting just makes no sense. It is a false sense of some sort of achievement. I guess warped is the only way to explain it.

  • Jacob - 2012-03-27 03:47

    Just another bunch of oxygen thieves destroying and decimating wildlife & the environment for their so called conservation practices and helping our spiralling out of control human population thats breeding like rats! Trophy hunting is a barbaric relic of colonialism and should be banned!

  • Jason - 2012-03-27 06:55

    Disgusting little cretins.

  • Warwick - 2012-03-27 07:15


  • Marius - 2012-03-27 07:36

    I'm jealous! would have like to go on a hunting trip if I could afford it

      Jason - 2012-03-27 08:58

      Start in your garden with ants. Maybe its not quite as glorious as shooting defenceless creatures but its a start. perhaps once killing ants is out of your system you could upgrade to locusts and other innocent creatures.

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-03-27 07:37

    Trophy hunting put way more back into conservation than any other group . We have more animals in our country than 100 years ago. Since there is a value people tend to take better care of them. Leopards are NOT endangered ! It is impossible to count but estimated between 700 000 and 1MIL. They do not have any natural predators outside national parks except man. I do understand that it could be an emotional issue but weigh the facts first .

      Jimmy - 2012-03-27 08:21

      i concur. personally i would not hunt big cats, but your comments about the numbers of animals in our parks needs some adding to. if we fence animals in to protect them from encroaching human settlements, then they need to be managed. it's called conservation and it involves hunting, culling and relocation where possible. all those people that jump up and down about hunting and culling have no concept of the carrying capacity of land -limited resources means keeping the numbers down or else all the animals/ecosystems will fail. so what is one small hunt that brings in much needed finance? especially when it is done under the auspices of a professional hunter and park ranger.

      Jason - 2012-03-27 09:02

      Fools. Its not that they are over breeding its that we are over crowding. More animals than 100 years ago ahahahaha can you support that claim with some facts please? an estimate of 700 to 1 mil bulldust, some hunters crack to justify the killing of some innocent animal. there is a viable cause for culling of some species but dont fool yourself that leopards are a part of that. also remember that WHEN we finally fak up our entire echo system all you will have left to hunt is each other.

      Peter - 2012-03-27 09:17

      It does make economic and conservation sense, but ethically it does not. Then again, people eat the eggs laid by battery chickens, the pork from industrially farmed pigs - the ethics are even worse in that regard. Can anyone explain the thrill of shooting a leopard, I've shot plenty of bokkies and I know the adrenalin rush - but I thought it was more a primitive instinct to hunt, and I thought that instinct was driven by a need for food? Simply destroying a prime specimen of a species makes no sense to me at all, that seems more a destructive sort of thing? If its to remove a problem animal to protect a farmers livestock I'm at ease with killing a leopard, but simply killing it as a sort of macho thing, I just don't get it ... it quite simply is not anything to be proud of?

      Peter - 2012-03-27 09:24

      Jimmy, I don't think many people are anti culling, I think that concept we understand. Its just something is morally wrong with wanting to destroy something beautiful, wether its good for conservation or not. We just don't understand that urge to destroy special creatures. Can you explain it? (I've "hunted" quite a bit by the way, never for a "trophy" though.)

      Jimmy - 2012-03-27 18:03

      A lot of people are anti culling. They are the preservationists, not conservationists. I wont go out and blat something beautiful just for the sake of it. For the pot is something else. Human nature, Peter, can't speak for the masses.

  • Vernon - 2012-03-27 07:41

    guese the hunters are giving the thumbs down,chops

  • Arlene - 2012-03-27 07:48

    Words fail me when we have to read this. 500 leapord allowed to be killed per year... WTF???? BUT then given the fact that some humans have really cocks up the lives of countless humans what is it if you can get a few worthless $$ for an animal

  • PumaFred - 2012-03-27 07:52

    Legal or not still Trump Chumps.

  • PumaFred - 2012-03-27 07:52

    Legal or not still Trump Chumps.

  • PumaFred - 2012-03-27 07:52

    Legal or not still Trump Chumps.

  • natasha.groenewald1 - 2012-03-27 08:37

    Something "done by the book" does not make it morally acceptable or ethical. Money can buy you many many things but it can't buy you class. Is it that difficult to come spend your trust fund money on eco tourism. Get on a landrover, look, listen maybe learn something, get off the landrover have gin and tonics, go back home, boast. If they really want that big of an ego trip, building a school in your name and having the kids write you thank you notes which you can flaunt in front of your other trust fund buddies lasts much longer. There is simply no excuse whatsoever to kill something as innocent as an elephant or majestic as a leopard. Low class cowards.

  • Carol - 2012-03-27 09:10

    Still does not make it right to hunt such beautiful animals and such a public figure. How can we respect people who do this for sport and especially high profile. Its blatant rape of African heritage all in the name of money and the rush or whatever they get out of killing.

  • Ian - 2012-03-27 09:35

    wow, anything for a few million hey

  • Caroline - 2012-03-27 10:17

    Disgusting Trump Kid's! This is so sad! Men who murder animals for sport always have small penises, they need to kill in order to feel like a macho man, despicable bunch the Trumps, cannot stand them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Peter - 2012-03-27 12:29

      I think the small penis comment is a bit corny, Caroline. Not going to win anyone over to your cause like that - some women really believe all men have penis complexes, its simply not true. Low self esteem perhaps, unrelated to chop size methinks.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-27 10:40

    In other words a legal and controlled hunt is unethical? Time for people to get over themselves.

      Peter - 2012-03-27 12:21

      Is it so difficult for you to understand? Its legal to farm battery hens - that does not make it ethical. Sorry - can't draw pictures in my reply to make it a bit easier for you ...!

  • Den - 2012-03-27 11:15

    sorry bunny huggers, without legal hunting you can kiss private game conservation good bye.....

      Peter - 2012-03-27 12:25

      Shooting a baited leopard is not hunting. (The PH does everything, you just arrive and eliminate the creature, no risk, no effort!) But you're correct, unfortunately a lot of game farms are viable due to the accepted unethical practice of trophy hunting, it pays big time - its just the way things are. It doesn't make it right though. You get it?

  • Den - 2012-03-27 14:34

    no i fully agree baited hunting isnt right, as far as ethical walk and stalk, but it is considered the safest for hunt leopard. not something i would do. but this massive outcry, over the pics, which i believe to be have been taken in a distastful way, is unfounded given the true nature of the industry.

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-03-28 06:36

    I ask of those who have internet access and read my comment and disagree to google leopard numbers in Africa or /andworldwide for that mattet. They are the most adapted and widespread cat in the world. It is fairly simpe. Under the old law a livestock farmer could kill a leopard with notice afterwards to Nature Conservation. Under current legislation he must apply for a depredation permit with proof of losses and few do. 80 % or more of the tradiotal cattle farms in Limpopo are now game farms and huge % belongs to professionals or businessmen from the cities. There are no number control on leopards anymore from the farmers side. The numbers are exploding as there are "restaurants " around every corner now.

  • Den - 2012-03-28 11:36

    thank you Richrad, everyone get so stirred up over these issues, without any real understanding. The pictures were done in bad taste, thats all.

  • emily.weissman.5 - 2012-05-01 10:07

    It's terrible that they killed an elephant. But the other animals that destroy human life, like lions and other cats, should be killed. In fact, they should teach Africans how to hunt for food. Then, eventually build up their nation so they won't have to worry about protecting their children from wild beasts. How primitive! Oh yeah, get rid of the mosquitoes as well!

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