A wealthy businessman has been condemned for posing alongside two ‘baby’ elephants he shot dead during a hunting trip.
Mike Jines, a US energy executive, said he has received death threats after the photos of him standing over the dead elephants with professional hunter Max Delezenne were shared on Facebook last month.
Jines, who is from Alpharetta, Georgia, said he shot the elephants, who were believed to be babies, in Zimbabwe in October 2018 – and has responded to backlash by saying the killings were in self-defense.
He also told CBS 46 that the two elephants were fully grown, not juveniles. ‘The two (elephants) that are shown in the photos were shot in self-defense, in an unprovoked charge and both elephants were fully mature cows, not juveniles,’ Jines said.
Jines also said that the animals were killed in a designated safari area in compliance with Zimbabwe and US hunting law.
‘While I can appreciate that hunting can be polarizing and that views on hunting can vary materially, I am sure that you can appreciate what it is like to deal with the vitriol particularly when the underlying information in this case is inaccurate,’ he said.
Jines said he and his company are working to deal with the public backlash that the photos have caused. He also said he is trying to make sure that people understand the ‘actual facts as opposed to the mischaracterization of the information on social media.’
Commenters on Facebook have since began a heated campaign to shame Jines for the photos. Last month, Jines was doxxed by a commenter who revealed the photos, meaning his personal information, including his business phone number and address, were published online.
‘What an innocent, sweet animal,’ one Facebook user wrote. ‘Elephants are known to be extremely social animals living in a pack.
Not only is this unforgivable but the trauma it caused the tribe makes me believe those idiots should face that poor baby’s tribe without guns.’ ‘Don’t do business with the company!’ wrote another.
This article was first published by Metro on 11 February 2019.
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.