No shame in Donald Trump Jr.'s elephant killing game

Mar 13, 2012 at 12:47 p.m. ET

Donald Trump Jr. has added elephant killer to his list of accomplishments, grinning from ear to ear in a series of photos showing the multimillionaire heir posed next to dead animals in Zimbabwe.

Donald Trump Jr.

Word of Donald Trump Jr.'s hunting safari in Zimbabwe is out, and now the son of business magnate Donald Trump Sr. has some serious explaining to do.

Photos of Donald Trump Jr. holding guns and knives, while smiling next to dead animals have hit the web and likely won't go away soon. Among the species killed during the 34-year-old's recent hunting excursion are crocodile, kudu, civet cat and waterbuck.

One particularly gruesome photo shows Donald Trump Jr., who was accompanied on the hunting safari by his brother Eric, holding up a severed elephant's tail in one hand, with a knife in the other.

Attempting to explain their killings, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump released a statement that reads:

"We are both avid outdoorsmen and were brought up hunting and fishing with our Grandfather who taught us that nothing should ever be taken for granted or wasted.

"We have the utmost respect for nature and have always hunted in accordance with local laws and regulations. In addition, all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful. We love traveling and being in the woods—at the end of the day, we are outdoorsmen at heart."

Nonetheless, animal rights groups are horrified by the photos. A representative for In Defense of Animals commented to TMZ, "Would any intelligent person feel moved to murder a magnificent elephant, then further insult and desecrate [it] by hacking off his or her tail as an additional gesture of dominance?"

They continued, "Privilege has clearly not bought them the sensitivity or wisdom to view the world as anything but their personal playground, including the imagined entitlement to end the lives of sensitive and social animals for mere amusement."

For his part, Donald Trump Sr. commented on his boys' hunt photos, telling TMZ, "My sons love hunting. They're hunters and they've become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it."

Trump added, "I know that anything they did was 100 percent OK in terms of the hunting community."

What is your take on Donald Trump Jr.'s elephant killing controversy?

Image via WENN