A chilling expose in the Washington Post says that hundreds of exotic trophy operations exist in Texas alone, "some of which offer opportunities to bag or buy such unusual prey as Russian boars, nilgais, barasinghas, oryx, zebras, giraffes and wildebeests." Unless the species is endangered, federal authorities will not regulate such operations says the Post. In one case an operation was cited because "staff members apparently used dart guns to tranquilize animals, then herded them toward hunters for the kill" said the Post--but the charge was not about ethics: the tranquillizing substance was apparently illegal.
Owners of such exotic animal operations, which are backed by SCI, say those with ethical objections to what they do are trying to deprive them of their livelihood. "These animals belong to me. I should be able to do with them what I want," Charly Seale, executive director of the Exotic Wildlife Association, the exotic ranches' trade group told the Post "The government just shouldn't be telling us what we can and can't do with them."
During the 2008 presidential election, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson floated a picture of a long-horned, African antelope called an oryx that he killed on Ted Turner's Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico. Richardson killed the oryx with one shot from 100 yards on a "guided" outing he bragged. Photos show Richardson kneeling beside the beast, a fence clearly behind him.
Trophy Hunting Goes All The Way To the White House
President George H.W. Bush, former Vice President Dan Quayle and the late Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. were proud members of SCI and pleaded with the Botswana government to keep trophy lion hunts available for trophy hunters like them. They are widely believed to have killed lions themselves on safaris.
In 2012 the King of Spain enjoyed killing an elephant (to the horror of his subjects) and the year before the CEO of Godaddy.com, Bob Parsons, videotaped his killing of an elephant. Nice. Last summer, Jimmy John's founder and CEO Jimmy John Liautaud posted photos of himself posing with elephants, a rhinoceros and a leopard he killed. Some are boycotting the chain. Donald Trump's son are also trophy hunters.
Palmer himself posed with at least two other "trophy" animals before Cecil flashing the same "Aren't-I-a-he-man?" grin. In January, a woman who confessed to spray-painting the words "perv" and "scum" on the sign of Palmer's River Bluff Dental practice was only given probation, suggesting even the courts might be disgusted with Cecil's killer.
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