- Created on Friday, 16 March 2012 15:30
- Written by Planet Fashion TV
- Category: Gossip
Donald Trump's sons are receiving a backlash from a series of photos taken from an African safari last year. The pictures just recently surfaced online.
Donald Junior and Eric Trump spent a week in the Zimbabwean bush in August 2010, and are pictured standing next to trophy kills of a Cape buffalo, a waterbuck, a leopard, a civet cat, a crocodile and a kudu.
In one photograph, Donald Junior, 34, stands beside the corpse of an elephant, holding a knife in one hand and its severed tail in another.
Their trip was organized by Hunting Legends, a South African company that specializes in big game hunting safaris for wealthy clients in Europe, the Middle East and the US.
One day hunting kill costs around $10,000.
On its website, one of the company's tour guides complemented the boys on having "the precision of a true marksman". Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who both appear on their father’s NBC reality show “Celebrity Apprentice,” are facing harsh criticism from animal rights organizations and social networking sites for the disturbing pictures taken during their hunting trip in Zimbabwe, first published on a hunting website.
“If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father's footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals,” a spokeswoman for PETA tells the Daily News.
“Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires' grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.”
The photos garnered attention on Monday after the website Wildlife Extra wrote an article about them. The images of the Trumps’ adventure, along with a lengthy story, has since been removed from the safari company’s website, according to Newsday.
Despite the backlash, however, the Trumps are standing their ground.
"We are both avid outdoorsmen and were brought up hunting and fishing with our Grandfather who taught us that nothing should ever be taken for granted or wasted," the brothers said in a joint statement to E! News.
"We have the utmost respect for nature and have always hunted in accordance with local laws and regulations. In addition, all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful. We love traveling and being in the woods – at the end of the day, we are outdoorsmen at heart."
The eldest Trump son also took to Twitter to respond to a flurry of angered messages from fans. "I'm a hunter, for that I make no apologies," he wrote. "I can assure you it was not wasteful. . . . The villagers were so happy for the meat which they don't often get to eat. I'm not going to apologize just because some eco nut wants me to. Villagers who have no meat enjoyed that for weeks and were very grateful," .
Donald Sr. told TMZ on Monday, "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."
Johnny Rodriquez, of the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce, said the Matetsi reserve, near Victoria Falls, where the men hunted was sparsely populated so the meat was unlikely to benefit anyone.
"Because of the state of the country, there is also very little transparency about where the money these hunters spend goes," he added. "If they want to help Zimbabwe, there are many better ways to do so."
Phillip Mostert, of Hunting Legends, said the Trumps were principled hunters. "Everything they hunted were thus hunted 100% legal, in the presence of Department of Nature Conservation officials and with all the required legal paperwork," he said.
"As a result of helping rural villagers, they have started conserving nature themselves instead of just poaching animals for an existence."