Zimbabwe group investigating Trump hunt

2012-03-23 23:13

Harare - A Zimbabwean conservation group on Friday said it was investigating whether a hunting trip by US property magnate Donald Trump's sons was legal, after photos of their trophies sparked outrage online.

Trump's sons Donald Junior and Eric went on 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.

Johnny Rodriguez, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told AFP that most professional hunt guides register with his organisation or with the government-run Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

But, he said his organisation does not have a record of the Trump brothers' hunting trip.

"We have people on the ground investigating. We want to find out if the hunting was ethical," he said.

"There is a lot of corruption and unethical conduct going on in the safaris. We want to find the truth and where the money generated from the hunting went to."


"We have been told that the Trump brothers were saying they gave game meat to locals who were starving, that's an insult to local people," he said.

"These people are wealthy. If they wanted to help the people of Zimbabwe, why didn't they build schools or something like that, than to say that they gave meat to starving people. The area they are said to have hunted is Matetsi and there are no people who live there."

The trip was organised by Pretoria-based Hunting Legends International, which specialises in big game hunts for the wealthy.

The company has insisted that the hunt near the world-famous Victoria Falls was completely legal, and has kept pictures of the Trumps with their kills on its website.

"The entire hunt was done strictly according to the laws of the department of nature conservation in Zimbabwe and, as is custom in these government-controlled areas, a staff member of the department escorted the hunt at all times," it said in a statement on its website.

"The hunt was entirely legal and ethically conducted as prescribed by the industry norms and regulations," it said. "None of the animals hunted were on the endangered species list and are plentiful in the area the hunt was conducted on."

Wont apologise

But the outrage over the hunting trip has already cost Donald Trump one advertiser from his US reality television show The Apprentice, according to US media.

The pictures show Donald Junior holding a knife and a severed elephant tail, and sitting with a rifle next to a slain Cape buffalo. The brothers are also seen holding a leopard carcass, and standing next to a crocodile hanging from a tree.

"Donald Trump Jr your're loser, ditto head. i'm a hunter. i hunt for meat, not horns. you can't eat horns," read one Twitter post.

"Men who hunt are not men," read another.

"Someone needs to stop these fools, maybe even hunt them," another said.

Donald Trump Jr has insisted the trip was legitimate.

"In the area I was in, the wildlife board wanted to decrease the numbers for the benefit of the herd. Like liberal deer limits," he tweeted. "I am also not going to apologise because some eco nuts want me 2."

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-24 00:11

    Hunting for trophies is never Ethical , don't kid yourselves. Look at these two GITS smiling with that beautiful cat dead in their hands. Here's BARBARIANS for you. The best thing for the ones that pulled the trigger is a long vacation at one of Mugabe's finest penal facilities.

      PhilosopherStoned - 2012-03-24 12:19

      There should be a law that allows hunters to be hunted. Let's see if they still grin like idiots if they are on the other side of the gun.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:23

      No problem with hunting, but there is something sick about trophy hunting. To feel proud and happy after killing the most beautiful and spectacular of a species can only be described as warped. It is a false extension of manhood, men somehow feel they have accomplished something great by it - they havent. Weird creatures, humans.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-24 18:24

      Where's our Hero cop from Limpopo, We got another job for him...

  • Fred - 2012-03-24 00:45

    Their father's an egomaniac. Not surprising, but very disappointing, they'd be doing this.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-25 11:54

      Finally some sense, Fred

  • Dave - 2012-03-24 01:53

    Two small minded rich fools. With all the money in the world you would think they’d be better educated and understand how scares these wonderful animals are. Shame on them.

  • Jannie Pieterse - 2012-03-24 03:18

    Shocking ..... They should use there wealth to do constructive work in ZIM.

      Sherm - 2012-03-29 21:34

      A letter from V. Chadenga, Director-General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority states that The only investigation which should occur is that of the “anti-hunting” organizations who are peddling untruths falsely represented as facts. The Matetsi complex is a highly regulated area where strict quotas for game are made every year so as to maintain optimal conditions for all game to survive and thrive. Hunting, and the fees derived thereof, are a vital part of our conservation efforts to preserve the natural beauty of Zimbabwe’s wilderness as well as a vital part of our nation’s economy. The fees are used to maintain local Fauna and Flora, fund anti-poaching campaigns, and pay the salaries of park rangers who manage the area. Fees from hunters make up a very significant portion of our budgets and without these fees many of these areas would not be able to maintain their natural state. We are seriously concerned by the actions intended to destroy the reputation of the hunters and outfitters who lawfully come to Zimbabwe and abide by our game laws and regulations. We expect that this issue and the false accusations against the Trumps are laid to rest and we sincerely hope to welcome them back to enjoy Zimbabwe’s natural heritage in the near future.

  • Frank - 2012-03-24 03:52

    Leave the animals alone you scum. Rather hunt Mugabe and his clowns, they are definitely not on the endangered list. Unfortunately, the trophies will be worthless.

  • Dave - 2012-03-24 05:52

    The more I look at that photo the more infurated I get. I they are looking for a thrill and like hunting, why not donate a large amount of money to the anti poaching forces. Then ask if you can join a patrol and hunt the hunter? No because they shoot back...cowards, standing there like big men!!!

  • Andrew - 2012-03-24 06:24

    The net affect of trophy hunters on the enviroment is extremely positive. Ungrateful people incapable of thinking should acknowldege the good they do and praise them. Thank you Trumps for your support of the enviroment. If no one paid to shoot then the there would be a lot less wildlife. Even this article is bad for the enviroment.

      christo.stone - 2012-03-24 08:03

      Shooting poachers is also good for the environment...just saying...

      PhilosopherStoned - 2012-03-24 12:25

      So your solution to conservation is to allow psychopaths to play out their murderous fantasies? You can stick that solution up in a dark place.

      PhilosopherStoned - 2012-03-24 12:33

      Game farmers should use their land to collect carbon credits. That way nature is preserved in it's pristine state. It's not as profitable as hunting but at least they will earn a respectable income. A game farmer that allows people to hunt animals is like a drug dealer catering for psychopaths.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:27

      The money they create for conservation through hunting cannot be debated. The physical act of killing a leopard as a sort of penis extension is warped, this also cannot be debated. It's a pity such a warped mentality is required in order for humans to allow other species the right to survive.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:31

      Philosopher - you again are being unreasonable. How do you feel about the industrial farming of animals, would you say that is better than hunting? Be realistic, humans have a natural instinct to hunt - it is trophy hunting that is warped though, destroying a creature to "enhance" your manhood makes no sense. If you're going to hunt, eat the animal at least, then it has a purpose.

      Dave - 2012-03-24 23:14

      Andrew your opinion might have some merit to it if it was strictly controlled and more than 50% of the amount paid to conservation. But this is Zimbabwe and I can guarantee all the money went into bribes and government official’s pockets. The very fact that they dealt with Zim says it all. Bunch of low life’s.... There are many other ways of increasing funds for wildlife, than shooting a wonderful animal like this...they can stick their money where the sun don't shine!!!

      Andrew - 2012-03-25 06:42

      I repeat. IF NO-ONE PAID TO SHOOT THERE WOULD BE A LOT LESS WILDLIFE. Game farmers who cater for this type of tourism allocate resources. ie Game guards, there own time, land, money to pay off officials. All this results in a game reserve. Christo- shooting poachers is bad for human rights. Mr Stoned-there is no proof that hunters are phychopaths. And using land to just collect carbon credits results in less land been used. (ie less conservation) and David-even if money is used to pay off official it still means that that official will have an incentive to look after that wildlife. and even it is true that there are many other ways of increasing wildlife funds, removing trophy hunters results in less funds.

      Matthew - 2012-03-26 18:40

      Hi Andrew. No Trophy hunters shouldn't result in less funds as game reserve owners would then direct there time and resources into different areas of the industry. Accommodation, game drives/trails would create far more jobs and cater for far more people than Trophy Hunting. They do it because they enjoy it, there is a demand for there services and there money to be made. Just my opinion, don't expect to change anybody else's. Actually the more i think about,the more attractive Trophy hunting seems to me. Its a lot like sex, the hunt = foreplay, pulling the trigger= shooting your load, then you get to cuddle and hold with your big gun in your hand. You can then even have photo's taken to show off your conquest. Maybe i got that wrong, it's more like making use of a prostitute, you pay for it' it's lined up for you and you take your shot. No hunting [foreplay] involved. If it's filmed or photographed for everybody to see then it becomes porn and there's an animal involved.... must be beastiality.

      Andrew - 2012-03-26 20:28

      Hello Matthew. Most game farm owners that I have spoken to have trophy/venison hunters as their main line. Even if its not the main line there exists the opportunity for culling and so hunters are catered for to optimise the game farms profits.(not on the same day as the game drives though) If trophy hunting is removed from the income stream then that money that the trophy hunters was paying has to be found elsewhere. If its posible to replace the income stream from trophy hunters (and don't forget all the games farms will proably be doing it at the same time)as you claim then why are they not doing it already? Even if the gamefarm manages to survive without trophy hunters it will be less profitable. Game farm don't have equal levels of profitability and the less profitable game farms will have to reconvert to livestock farming with the subsequent loss of wildlife.

      Matthew - 2012-03-26 22:26

      Hunting is not so much the problem, my concern is the individual who shoots an animal just for the thrill of and then poses like a great white hunter as though they have achieved something spectacular. Search for LIZ CADDELL on facebook and have a look at the photo's, that's what i find distasteful. Large herds do need to be culled at times when they can't be sold to stock other reserves or relocated. You're right, they need to be profitable. There is usually another way to do it if you put mind to it, unfortunately people tend to take the easy way out. Why Rhino, lion , leopard etc. I would think there would be a demand for these sort of animals at game auctions. Hopefully the buyers won't be stocking up for Trophy hunters. I suppose where there is a demand there will always there will be somebody willing to provide if there is money to be made. Not much different then the Game farmers arrested in connection with Rhino poaching.

      Andrew - 2012-03-27 09:29

      Its trophhy hunters that provide the demand for game transfers. There would be no game auctions, a lot fewer game farms, and a lot harder to relocate game if trophy hunters did not pitch in with there big wallets. There contribution to species diversity is huge. They support a lot more game then they shoot. They support the enviroment through there actions more then almost everyone who condemns it on this page. Fewer big game hunters mean a lot less wildlife. Before people criticise trophy hunters, they should match hunters contribution to conservation. I looked at the Liz Caddell picture and I found nothing wrong with them. Don't forget her contribution to conservation was proably huge. If they legalised the trade in Rhino horn then the Rhino would not be on the brink of extinction and there would be a lot less Rhino poaching.

  • Wendy - 2012-03-24 06:35

    These brats have run out of thrills to buy with Daddy's money and now have turned to Africa to get off on slaughtering our beautiful animals. It is completely irrelevant whether or not this hunting was 'legal' or the animals killed 'not endangered'. What kind of mentality does it take to enjoy this sort of carnage? I have watched both The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice series and have always admired Don Jr's clear intelligence, good looks and self-confidence, but now he just disgusts me. What's next - Ivanka in fur?

  • Sw - 2012-03-24 06:39

    "What is money in the hands of a fool if he has no wisdom" - Proverbs.

      Amanda - 2012-03-24 08:14

      Unfortunately money cannot buy integrity, intelligence etc, if you don't have IT money cannot buy IT! Disgusting human beings!

  • Marc Cuzzie Serif - 2012-03-24 07:45

    Sad bastards......clearly youve never been on a hunt, clearly you have forgotten about the slaughters that took place on open plains and thickets a couple hundred years ago, when foreigners hunted and killed FAR more than what these little boys have. And the hunting trade is big business, and for some African countries the only REAL source of revenue. So before you hop on your high horse remember that completely stopping the Hunt puts people deeper into poverty than you can imagine.

      Amanda - 2012-03-24 08:26

      The money that was paid for this hunt is definitely not going to save the starving masses in Zim. The carnage caused by these idiots come down to the same thing that happened a few 100 years ago.

      Frank - 2012-03-24 09:36

      just cos people have a conscious and cant bear to see a beautiful animal like a leopard being murdered by a coward, doesnt make them 'sad bastards'. lets see you take on that leopard with nothing but your bear hands chicken sh!#

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:37

      Marc, you're missing the point. Hunting a leopard should not even be defined as "hunting". I would have no problem if it was a "problem" leopard which needed to be taken out, rather someone pay a trophy fee to kill it than just kill it. This was not a problem animal, it was just a beautiful specimen that was killed simply to blow up an empty souls ego. Thats the difference. But I do agree, hunting is ok. Genuine hunting. Are you aware most leopards are baited anyway - no skill required besides a good shot, the PH does everything else? Warped.

      Dave - 2012-03-25 06:29

      Marc the only sad bastard here is you and a couple backward thinking people. Alot of things happened a couple of hundred years ago, that doesn't make it right. In fact most of us learnt from those mistakes. Also to say it helps the poor....please it only gives money to government officials and the land owner. If that's the best you can offer I am wasting my time trying to reason with you....

  • Tony - 2012-03-24 08:04

    Its so sad that some people with money think they can do anything they want without any consequences. Karma is a bitch. It will follow you always and eventually get you. As you sow, so shall you reap.

  • jakkals616 - 2012-03-24 08:37

    the problem is we advertise for these idiotic wimps to come to Africa to come and shoot our majestic animals. I hunt myself but always for the pot and freezer. I cannot understand why anyone would want to kill such a beautiful animal. That leopard was shot baited and at night that I can almost guarantee you. It was not not ethical. Night hunts are not ethical.So the outfitter and these trump wimps should pay. I would love to see them on foot on their own in the African bush. They would not make it out of there. Which would be a good thing.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:38

      Me and you are on the same page Jakkals! And we ARE correct ...

      Michael McN - 2012-03-24 22:48

      Why not advertise safaris where they prey to be hunted is human? Don't tell them they are the prey till after they land in your country though. Heheheh.

  • Wendy - 2012-03-24 09:06

    I can just picture this on the next series of Celebrity Apprentice: Donald Trump: 'Now for your next task I am sending you all to Africa to shoot (and hopefully kill) as many animals as possible. Don will judge you on the number and species of animals you actually kill, and Ivanka will judge you on how valuable each animal is for the fashion accessories business. The proceeds of the task will go to charity - bushmeat for the starving locals.'

  • Matthew - 2012-03-24 12:18

    Saying that Trophy hunting contributes to conservation is just their way of justifying what they do .Very little of what they paid for the hunt will go into conservation, the bulk will go into the pockets of the hunt organizer. If they care so much they should rather donate that money to a legitimate conservation organization or create a conservation area of their own.... not likely, that wouldn't be profitable and not a much fun as blowing away some unsuspecting creature. Why a Leopard? You should feel lucky to just see one in the wild.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:40

      Matthew, indirectly it goes into conservation, as it makes it worthwhile to keep area's wild so that these creatures can be available. Economics are how humans measure things, however warped it may be.

      Wendy - 2012-03-26 10:11

      I totally agree, Matthew. Did you see that photo of grinning Don Jr with a knife in one hand and an elephant's tail in the other? It made me sick to my stomach. All this talk of 'conservation' is a load of bull. to put it politely One of these days there will be nothing left to conserve. WE are the intruders on the land of the animals, and all we've done, as usual, is screwed up. We need to give back, not take away. And how about the scourge of rhino poaching - this fight seriously needs support people such as the Trumps who have money to burn.

  • Leonie - 2012-03-24 12:58

    Ek kan nie glo dat daar so 'n klomp oningeligte mense is nie. Om met wild te boer is dieselfde as om met skape of beeste te boer. Hoekom boer jy daarmee? Verseker nie sodat die diere maar net kan aanteel en vreet en en mooi lyk nie. Dis 'n besigheid. Jy spandeer miljoene aan wildsheinings, suipplekke, paaie, jagkampe en tentkampe. Wild moet aangekoop word deur nog miljoene daaraan te bestee. Nou teel die diere en hulle moet opgepas word en as dit droog is ekstra voer gegee word. Skaars spesies wild word aangekoop en die veld moetso bestuur word dat dit nie oorbewei of verspoel word nie. Diere kan nie net aanteel en aanteel nie. Dus word daar gejag teen kostes om die hele plaas te laat oorleef asook al die diere wat daarop is. Dis tog mos nou baie eenvoudig om dit te verstaan???

      Matthew - 2012-03-24 15:00

      You can't compare live stock farming to trophy hunting, you don't charge people to come shoot your sheep or cattle. You can finance your game farm through game viewing, holiday accommodation and sales of animals. Plenty game farms manage this way. Simple to understand.

      Peter - 2012-03-24 16:45

      Leonie, ek stem saam met jou in 'n mate. What can never be argued is the ethics of wanting to kill something just because it is the biggest or most beautiful. It simply cannot be defended - on an ethical basis. It can on a conservation basis (sadly) and economic basis - it makes it worthwhile to keep wild areas. Matthew, hunting is far far more humane than industrial animal farming, or even normal stock farming. Unarguable I'm afraid.

      Matthew - 2012-03-24 23:51

      You are right Peter,sadly its money that counts and trophy hunting is quick easy money. The Trophy hunter does it for the thrill of the hunt and i doubt they're concerned if it is humane. I feel hunting or livestock farming is acceptable as a food source but to shoot an animal just for the thrill of it and to then pose next to it's carcass, mount its stuffed head on your wall and feel proud of yourself?? But not to worry they can justify it by claiming to have contributed to conservation. Game viewing, accommodation income make it worth while having wild areas. Trophy hunting is just a small part of the wildlife industry. Unfortunately as long as there are people who find it acceptable and there is money to be made, it won't end.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-03-24 17:09

    Shocking AND they do it in Zimbs, of all the places to go spend their $$, they spend them in that horrible little goons country! Unforgivable.

  • menzie.dube - 2012-03-24 17:27

    this is an insult to african people by these rich bastads thats when u descover the west has got nothing they come to steal kill and destroy in africa like the devil

      Peter - 2012-03-25 16:09


  • Franklin - 2012-03-24 17:50

    It is as I always have said. You cannot trust the spawn of a ginger haired breeder.

  • Dave - 2012-03-24 23:20

    As a white South Africa my biggest shame is the fact that when we arrived in Africa one of the first things we started doing was wiping out as many animals as we could. Then sending all he furs back overseas. It looks like we are still doing it and it's been allowed, this is bull sh...t/

  • Jason Rossiter - 2012-03-25 08:02

    I don't understand why now all of a sudden, hunting is a problem. So many people shoot leopards and other big game a year, and now just because these guys are famous its a problem. We living in Africa, people here have been hunting for centuries, why change that?

      bluzulu - 2012-03-25 11:57

      Cos' there are almost extinct, Some people ?

      Peter - 2012-03-25 16:11

      Its not because the oke is "famous" that anybody is complaining, it is about trophy hunting in general. It only made the news because the ou was famous, but fame is not the issue. Enjoy the debate.

      Peter - 2012-03-25 16:13

      bluzulu - Leopards are far from extinct. Does not justify killing one for an ego boost, but extinction is not the problem - its ethics.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-26 12:18

      Peter ,beg to differ, If these characters continue they will be extinct....Try a pro-active approach rather than a re-active one as this process is currently and will never work. Why wait till all creatures are close to extintion and then start a programme to address it?

      kath.mcfarland - 2012-03-26 18:08

      For hundreds of years there were slaves. For hundreds of years we had beheadings. For hundreds of years we had apartheid. We don't have these things anymore. Why? Because we realised the error of our ways and moved on. Isn't it time trophy hunters did the same?

  • Dwight - 2012-03-25 15:20

    Those two make the case against hereditary wealth.

  • kath.mcfarland - 2012-03-26 11:18

    I don't think we should kill ALL trophy hunters. Let's just round them up and randomly shoot one (per paying customer). With the money we make (from the shooters) we can train more hunters and continue the process. That seems to be their argument in favour of trophy hunting - let's see how well it sits when they're facing the bullet.

  • Sherm - 2012-03-29 21:25

    Any "outrage" caused by the reporting of the Trump Zimbabwe hunt is nothing more than handcrafted drivel from anti-hunting groups used to demonize hunting in general. A letter from V. Chadenga, Director-General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority states that The only investigation which should occur is that of the “anti-hunting” organizations who are peddling untruths falsely represented as facts. The Trumps booked a hunt through a South African firm that worked with a locally owned and registered outfitter who handled all the required hunting permits and hired the registered Zimbabwe Professional Hunters. In addition, as required by law, the Trump hunt took place under the supervision of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Game Rangers who accompany hunters daily making sure that all rules and regulations are followed. Matetsi Unit 1 where the hunt in question took place is in excess of 100,000 acres of unfenced and open wilderness with the rest of the Matetsi Controlled Hunting Area, so the notion that this was a canned or behind a fence hunt is also absurd. The Matetsi complex is a highly regulated area where strict quotas for game are made every year so as to maintain optimal conditions for all game to survive and thrive. Hunting, and the fees derived thereof, are a vital part of our conservation efforts to preserve the natural beauty of Zimbabwe’s wilderness and a vital part of our economy.

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