Blake Fischer, who killed a family of baboons and other African wildlife and sent an email to 100 people boasting about it, has resigned his position as an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commissioner after facing an outcry from members of wildlife advocates including Friends of Animals who called the Governor’s office demanding action.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, announced the resignation Monday. In addition to killing an entire baboon family during a hunting trip to Namibia, Fischer also killed a leopard, giraffe, impala and waterbuck and other animals. Fischer was appointed to his post in 2014 and re-appointed this year to a term ending in 2022.
Namibia is one of the top 10 countries for imported trophies to the U.S., totaling 76,347 between 2005-2014, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Management Information Systems.
Friends of Animals is not surprised a state fish and game commissioner boasted about hunting in Africa the way Fisher did. State agencies reap revenues from hunting and fishing licenses – it’s their primary clientele and hunting opportunities to pump up the dwindling number of hunters in the country. Federal wildlife agencies receive funds from taxes on guns and ammo under the Pittman Robinson Wildlife Restoration Act and assist in overseeing the killing of species under the misnomer of wildlife conservation and management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for example, issues permits for hunting African species, including leopards such as Fisher killed, which are listed as threatened under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“The hunting preserves in Namibia are fenced estates just like hunting ranches in Texas, and it’s preposterous to find shooting animals to death sporting or an act that defines conservation,’’ Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said.
Friends of Animals operates two primate sanctuaries, one in San Antonio, Texas in which baboons reside and one in The Gambia in which baboons, monkeys and chimpanzees call home.
“Blake Fischer’s egotistical grin over a pile of bloodied, dead baboons was too much for Gov. Butch Otter even in a state that justifies shooting wolves to death for the perverse joy it brings characters like Fischer,’’ said Feral.