California Man Guns Down Elephant—Please Take Action!

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A PETA undercover investigation has revealed video footage of a California man gunning down a curious young elephant just outside Kruger National Park in South Africa, where no hunting is allowed. What unfolds in this shocking video shows why UPS must end trophy hunting shipments that allow people like this to ship home trophies of animals' body parts to display and brag about.

In the video, the elephant can be seen peacefully ambling out of the bushes, and then we see the trophy hunter take his first shot. The elephant collapses to his knees. The man takes his time before firing more shots, none of them fatal. The young elephant is obviously suffering and starts to rumble in distress—using his own language to express his pain or warn other elephants of the danger. The professional guides, who could have ended this suffering in a split second, don't step in because the hunter paid for the thrill of the kill, and their job is to deliver it.

The elephant was shot by the inept shooter at least four more times over the next two minutes. How many more shots were taken after the video stopped and how long the elephant suffered before finally losing consciousness and dying is unknown.

American trophy hunter Aaron Raby (center) poses with the elephant he killed outside Kruger National Park.
American trophy hunter Aaron Raby (center) poses with the elephant he killed outside Kruger National Park.

This man, a crane operator from Los Angeles County, paid $30,000 for the sick thrill of killing an elephant—an animal known to be compassionate and to grieve for dead relatives—and then later paid an additional $20,000 to have the body parts preserved for shipment back home to the United States.He even ate a slice of the elephant's flesh, complete with avocado and tomato.

Aaron Raby paid $30,000 to kill this elephant, after which he cut off his tail. Raby later paid another $20,000 to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States.
Aaron Raby paid $30,000 to kill this elephant, after which he cut off his tail. Raby later paid another $20,000 to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States.

PETA's investigation also exposes the way trophy hunters—people with a deep psychological need to build themselves up by showing others that they have killed a majestic living being—gun down wildlife specifically bred to be killed for their sick thrill. Many lions and other animals in South Africa are captive-bred, meaning they are habituated to humans, even hand-fed by them, making them easy targets. Other footage that we obtained during the investigation shows men ambushing a captive-bred lion resting under a tree. When shot by the hunter, the lion charges and the hunting guides must help "save the day" by firing multiple shots. The hunter and the camera operator laugh after the final shot.

Trophy hunters and those who make a living by selling hunting excursions and accessories like to try to defend the indefensible by talking about wildlife "conservation" or patronizingly claiming that they're helping to "feed the natives." But as PETA's investigation clearly shows, trophy hunters are cowardly people. They shoot animals who are minding their own business, usually at close range, surrounded by "guides" who have led them to the exact spot, and yet they are often incapable even of felling the animal, instead inflicting immense pain on them.

What You Can Do to Help Stop This
Serial killers collect trophies of sadistic acts that bring them pleasure. Wild animals will continue to be slaughtered as long as heads, tails, and skins can be shipped back home for them to fondle, display, and show others who have similar perversions.

Animals are not ours to abuse in any way. By shipping hunting trophies, UPS is supporting speciesism and the exploitation of majestic wild animals. It has already banned the transport of shark fins, ivory, and certain live animals—and if it can ban elephants' tusks, it can surely ban their heads and other body parts, too. Please use the form below to urge UPS to stop shipping hunting trophies TODAY.

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