Trophy Hunting Footage Highlights Urgent Need to Ban Imports

PETA Video Shows Californian Repeatedly Shooting and Failing to Kill Curious Young Elephant, Whose Body Parts Were Preserved for Shipment to the U.S.

For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Sacramento, Calif. – This morning, after the release of new damning evidence as reported in The Los Angeles Times, PETA is calling on state legislators to support SB 1175, which would crack down on trophy hunting by banning the possession of the heads and other body parts of elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, leopards, hyenas, and other African animals. It has already passed the State Senate and will be up for a vote by the State Assembly’s Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife on August 4. More information about the bill is available here.

The appeal follows PETA’s release of video footage of a Los Angeles-area trophy hunter gunning down a young elephant. Aaron Raby killed the elephant in the Balule Nature Reserve. The Balule Nature Reserve is near Kruger National Park. Although no hunting is allowed in Kruger National Park, hunting is allowed in Balule Nature Reserve. The video shows the elephant strolling out of the bush and Raby shooting him in the head. He falls to his knees and continues to suffer as Raby—who paid $30,000 for the pleasure of killing him—gets multiple instructions from his guides on aiming better and then, without any sense of urgency, shoots four more times, causing the young elephant to rumble in distress. It’s not known how many more shots, if any, were taken or how long the elephant suffered before he died—so PETA has filed a request for an investigation of alleged hunting permit violations. Raby later paid nearly $20,000 to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States. [Update: After receiving PETA’s request, the general manager and head warden of the Balule Nature Reserve conducted an investigation and concluded that Raby’s hunt complied with all existing hunt protocols. The official also indicated that he will recommend that the protocol be updated to limit the number of follow up shots to avoid a repeat of this situation.]

“People who kill for the sheer pleasure of killing are flying to Africa to gun down animals and line the pockets of safari guides, hunting ranches, and farms that specifically breed wild animals to be shot,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging California to set an example for the rest of the nation by prohibiting the possession of African animals’ heads, feet, and other body parts.”

PETA has also renewed its call for UPS to enact a ban on transporting wildlife trophies, noting that more than 40 airlines have done so since 2015 and that UPS has already banned the transport of shark fins, certain live animals, and ivory—but it is still enabling the trophy hunting industry.

Raw video footage for publication is available. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that animals are nothing more than trophies or commodities. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind