About a year ago, Bob Parsons (former Go Daddy CEO) found himself in a storm of controversy after posting footage (below) of his elephant hunt in Zimbabwe. As you can imagine, there was a lot of public outcry. PETA were very vocal about it and took action against the killing. They closed their Go Daddy account and encouraged the public to follow suit. This action subsequently led to thousands of people disassociating themselves with Go Daddy and transferring their domains to other providers.
This time, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump (Donald Trump’s sons) have managed to get themselves caught up in something similar. Photos of them sporting trophies from a hunting trip they took to Zimbabwe last year have recently surfaced. The photos have lead to criticism from PETA and other animal rights groups. Just like in the case of Bob Parsons, the hunt has had a negative impact on Trump entities. The biggest blow has been sponsors pulling out of the popular TV series “The Apprentice”.
Apart from defending his sons’ actions, Donald Trump Senior has said a lot about the issue. On the other hand, Donald Jr. has been hard at work defending his actions. A common theme with him and Bob in the process of defending their actions is that of seeing themselves as heroes. The act of donating the meat from their kills to villagers is what has made them feel as if they have earned hero status. Some people argue that it would have been better to have donated the thousands they paid for the hunt to the villagers instead of killing animals.
Some of the arguments used by Donald Jr. do however raise an eyebrow. One example is that of a tweet he sent out in response to one from another twitter user:
To say “with out hunters $ there wouldn’t be much left of africa” is somewhat shortsighted. Isn’t Africa very resource rich? Yes, there may be a few issues with the equitable distribution of wealth but that doesn’t mean that Africa would be a lost cause without hunters. Whatever the motivations are for public figures going on these hunting trips, does the controversy and protest generated by animal rights activists have a positive impact towards their cause? Hunting is something that mankind has engaged in for centuries. In this day in age, it is an activity that when carried out in a controlled manner adds to the tourist dollars generated by African countries. Truth be told, even if public figures aren’t taking themselves off on hunting adventures, there are plenty of other keen hunters who have the resources to be able to take themselves on such trips. For Donald Jr. and Eric, this may have been a PR stunt gone wrong but in the case of the company (Hunting Legends) that took them on the trip, it may have been a blessing in disguise. A recent tweet by Hunting Legends, points towards an increase in business for them:
Some good from the bad. Record bookings in last 3 days.
— Hunting Legends(@huntinglegends) March 16, 2012
This boost in business may have been a result of the publicity they got from the controversy and if that was the case, then the efforts of anti hunting activists have been a waste. It has served to whet the appetites of more hunters and fueled their want to hunt in Africa.
Link to Bob Parsons > Problem Elephant Controversy Video