AOL News — Apr. 1, 2011

by Dana Kennedy Contributor

Zimbabwe’s premier conservationist, a 62-year-old man who says he’s endured assassination attempts for trying to preserve wildlife in one of Africa’s poorest and most repressive countries, can’t watch the video showing Bob Parsons, the billionaire CEO of, shooting and killing an elephant.

“I’ve seen so many of the atrocities against elephants and other wildlife here that it sickens me to the bottom of my soul,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told AOL News today on the telephone from Harare.

“But I have read what Parsons said, and he is totally misinformed about what is going on here. I wish he knew the truth.”

Parsons, whose video sparked outrage when it circulated Thursday, is shown shooting a bull elephant on a recent hunting trip in Zimbabwe and then posing triumphantly next to the carcass. He called the animal a “problem elephant” that was in a herd attacking local crops and houses.

Some villagers, sporting GoDaddy caps, are also shown in the video carving up the dead elephant and eating the meat, as AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” plays on the soundtrack.

Parsons brushed off criticism in interviews and said that only a few animal rights groups like PETA were upset.

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