By Dustin Garrett Rhodes

Bob Parsons, the CEO, posted a video of himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe-a “rogue” animal who was, according to Parsons and villagers there, killing crops and therefore had to be killed.

It’s an all-too-predictable response to a commonly held view of non-human animals: if they are ever an inconvenience to humans, destroy them.

Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals-who has traveled to Zimbabwe as part of the delegation to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)-knows first-hand what the killing is really about:

“I am well- aware of the government’s support of the ivory trade — despite its decimation of elephants. The rogue, problem animal is Bob Parsons. Zimbabwe’s trophy elephant hunts are all profit-driven, nothing more.”

Elephants are the largest land animals on earth, and 25 years ago there were around 1.3 million of them in Africa. It’s now estimated that there are around 500,000 on the entire continent-and their primary predators are humans, who mainly kill them illegally for ivory; their populations have suffered because of habitat loss, too. Bob Parson’s motivation might be even more frightening: he kills because he enjoys it.

All animals are a vital part of the eco-system; if there is a rogue species, it’s human beings. That we disrespect elephants and the countless other animals killed in the name of sport, pleasure and profit is deplorable. Learning to co-exist alongside and respect other animals is key to human and animal survival.

Priscilla Feral sums it up succinctly: “Bob Parsons’ elephant-killing commands sympathy for elephants and scorn for trashy Parsons, who invested many thousands of dollars to feel powerful by stealing an elephant’s life.”

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