A century ago Africa had just 6,000 elephants left. Now there are 600,000, and some say they are a pest – which is why the guns are out.
CEO of webhosting giant GoDaddy released a controversial hunting elephants in Zimbabwe, Africa. Our own Marc Warnke was interviewed by The Daily last week about this topic, you can see the article here.last month of him
PETA has closed its account with GoDaddy, the internet domain registrar, after its CEO released a video of himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. Reuters reports that the animal rights advocacy group has urged others to follow suit.
Bob Parsons, the founder and CEO of GoDaddy, has defended his actions. In the video he states that the killing of the animal was helpful to local farmers whose crops had been damaged by it, and it also gave the villagers valuable elephant meat to eat. His hunting group, he says, only kills “mature bulls” when possible since it has a less detrimental effect on the female-led herds. “When you see me smiling in that picture, I’m smiling because I’m relieved no one was hurt, that the crop was saved, and that these people were going to be fed — the type of smile when you get a good report card or achieve a goal,” Parsons told Mashable Thursday.
Responding to his claim, PETA said in a statement, “Parsons is hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants helps farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants. Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts.”
I spend a few weeks in Zimbabwe each year helping the farmers deal with problem elephants. The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation and one of the problems they have is the elephants, of which there are thousands and thousands, that trash many of their fields destroying the crops. The tribal authorities request that I and others like me, patrol the fields before and during the harvest — we can’t cover them all, there are just a few of us — and drive the elephant from the fields.
The truth of the matter is that elephants are a problem in many areas of Africa for villagers living on subsistence farming. They are not endangered in most areas. Bob Parsons argues that tactics like making noise, starting fires, and keeping up fences do not necessarily deter a “problem elephant” like the one he shot. Bob Parsons goes on to say the elephant he killed is enough to deter an entire herd, and he says the village makes use of the entire kill, feeding the village for weeks on the crops savings and the elephant meat.