Elephant Hunter and GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons Should Be Ashamed

UPDATE: Check out this link on WebProNews.com about how heavily edited the original video was.

UPDATE: Elephant researcher and conservationist Joyce Pool was quoted in a Discovery News blog post as saying "The 'bull' that GoDaddy CEO, Mr. Bob Parsons, brags about appears to be a young female..." Not good. Read the whole post over at Discovery News.

ORIGINAL POST:

Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of  GoDaddy.com, recently posted a video of his “vacation” in Zimbabwe showing him and a few buddies shooting a “problem” elephant and letting poor local people butcher it for food. The video is below [Viewer discretion advised: it is gruesome]:

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, the government of Malawi and a growing number of wildlife management agencies around the world take a dim view of this murderous approach to human-elephant conflict in favor of a humane, non-violent one.

Parsons and other cowboy types claim there are too many elephants in countries like Zimbabwe and that they have to be shot and killed when they trample food crops or otherwise come into conflict with humans.

Of course, human-elephant conflicts are serious problems that deserve serious – but not lethal – solutions.

Parsons and some governments all too often resort to killing “problem” animals as a knee-jerk first reaction. But killing does not address the root causes of these conflicts and, of course, for people who love and respect elephants, it is unacceptable on animal welfare and conservation grounds.

And why was the video above edited to remove the close-ups and folks wearing GoDaddy hats? What happened to Parson's "properly dealing with "problem" elephants in Zimbabwe" by killing them one at a time? I guess when CEO grandstanding backfires, integrity, concern for the poor and conservation goes out the window.

Here’s an example of a solution to human-elephant conflict that IFAW carried out in June 2009 in a country not far from Zimbabwe, the small, landlocked nation of Malawi.

Check out our video below:

Subsistence agriculture plays an important role in the lives of most people in Malawi, Zimbabwe and other elephant range states so it’s no surprise that conflicts between elephants and people sometimes flare up. Resolving these conflicts presents decision-makers with a quandary: they must balance humanitarian concerns with the economic, cultural and ecological contributions elephants make.

It’s clear that elephant conservation – and protecting the “Big Five” of African wildlife -- is good for tourism since it generates much-needed revenue. But elephants do sometimes trample crops, destroy property and occasionally take lives, especially in rural areas.

The question is: Is it possible to resolve human-elephant conflicts in an ethical, environmentally responsible way that meets the needs of both people and animals?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Bob Parsons should be ashamed. The lives of humans and elephants are precious. We can, and should, go to great lengths to preserve both.

Rich white men with private jets, big guns and a need to advertise their corporations are not the way to go.

--JK

Read more about the International Fund for Animal Welfare Malawi elephant move and other programs at: www.ifaw.org

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