Donald Trump Jr. is on the defense after photo surfaced online of the Celebrity Apprentice judge posing triumphantly with the spoils of his African hunting expedition.
The eldest son of Donald Trump recently traveled with younger brother, Eric Trump, to Zimbabwe, where the siblings hunted elephants, crocodiles, water bucks and other wildlife. The photo evidence, leaked to TMZ, shows Trump clutching the tail of a dead elephant in one hand and a knife in the other, among other PETA-enraging imagery.
Trump — who can now be seen co-judging the fifth season of NBC’sCelebrity Apprentice alongside his famous father and sister, Ivanka Trump — immediately responded to critics on Twitter.
“Not a pr move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game,” he wrote in one post. In another response, he said the meat from the animal carcasses “fed a village for weeks,” and that nothing was wasted.
Trump, who is executive vice president of The Trump Organization, has three young children with his model-wife Vanessa Haydon Trump, whom he married in 2005.
His hunting controversy, which has animals lovers up in arms, follows similar incidents involving GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, who ignited outrage last year after uploading a video of him shooting and killing an elephant in Zimbabwe, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who recently updated his status on the social network to announce he’d killed a goat and a pig.
Grisly photos have surfaced of Donald Trump’s millionaire sons smiling broadly next to the dead carcasses of wild animals that they shot while on a big game hunt in Africa.
Though the two men- Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump- deny any wrong doing and proudly argue that they are hunters, many animal rights advocates are taking jabs at the pair.
In one of the photos, 34-year-old Don holds the sawed off tail of an elephant and another the knife that likely cut it.
Proud to be a hunter: Don holds the sawed off tail of an elephant on a hunt in Africa
Hunting Legends, the company that detailed the brothers’ trip, revealed it was not the first hunting expedition for either brother. The company did not respond after being contacted for comment.
“These two amazing young men are everything but the ‘city slickers’ you would expect,” the Hunting Legends site read.
But their dad, Donald Trump, isn’t so keen on the sport: “I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it,” he told TMZ.
Happy hunter: Don, seen here with a 40″ Cape Buffalo Bull, is said to have ‘the precision of a true marksman’
“In some places, it can cost up to $50,000 for an elephant,” award-winning travel writer Paula Froelich tells me. “I hate to say this, but hunting does stop poaching. The animals and the people do have to find a way to live together. It’s a way to stop overpopulation.”
Froelich said that no laws were broken; only in Kenya is all hunting outlawed.
“It was a stupid idea to let these photos get out because of the way Americans feel about hunting,” Froelich said. “But they are proud of it. It’s a rich white man’s sport. Usually it’s rich dudes looking for the next big challenge. They think it’s romantic, like they are in the film ‘Out of Africa.’”
Posing with their prey: Eric sits atop one of their kills. In his responses to critics on Twitter, Don said that the animals were used as meat for hungry villagers who do not eat the animals often
Another particularly jarring photo shows the brothers standing beside a 12’8″ crocodile hanging from a noose off a tree.
The pictures were posted on the website for the company that ran the hunting trip to the Matetsi area of Zimbabwe near Victoria Falls.
Don denied that he leaked the photos over Twitter: ‘Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game’.
‘I AM A HUNTER I don’t hide from that,’ he said to another critic on Twitter.
Rare game: The pair pose with the 12’8″ crocodile that they killed on the trip, which was not their first
Costly sport: The kill fee for this Waterbuck was $1,997.00
The company, called Hunting Legends, detailed the brother’s trip and said that it was not the first time that the Manhattan real estate moguls arranged a trip with them.
Though the pricing for the trip is not publicly available, it was certainly a costly endeavor.
The 2012 trophy fees for each of the animals they shot, and for the deer-like animal called the Kudu they paid at least $2,795.00 and another $1,997.00 for the Waterbuck they were pictured with.
‘The Trump’s soon showed their metal and it was evident from the word go that these two amazing young men are everything but the “city slickers” you would expect!’ the Hunting Legends site reads.
‘They meant business from the outset of the hunt.’
The tour guide went on to say that they had ‘the precision of a true marksman’.
Don has been diligent about responding to angry comments on Twitter, and argued that their actions were justified because the meat was used to feed hungry villagers.
The group: The brothers, seen bottom center and right, went on the trip run by a company called Hunting Legends
‘I can assure you it was not wasteful the villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat. Very grateful,’ he responded to one Twitter user.
Their father does not share the views of his sons, and the elder Donald told TMZ that ‘My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.’
‘I know that anything they did was 100% OK in terms of the hunting community,’ Mr Trump continued.
The whole family: (Left to right) Eric, Don, Donald and Ivanka all work together in the father’s real estate empire, though Donald Sr said that he does not share his sons’ taste for hunting