PETA Goes After Lion Hunter in Bid to Ban Trophy Imports to California

A lion hunter who killed an elephant in Africa seven months ago has become the center of a campaign by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to pass an anti-trophy-hunting bill in California.

The bill would prohibit the importation and possession of animal parts from a list of endangered and threatened African species, including elephants, lions and rhinos. The bill has already passed the state Senate and is expected to pass the Assembly and be signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“It’s time to wake up and realize that we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event,” said Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park), who wrote the bill, according to the LA Times.

To stoke public sentiment and ensure the bill’s passage, PETA has released a video of Los Angeles native Aaron Raby shooting and killing an elephant in South Africa. Raby shoots the elephant four times, and the text overlay claims, “It is unknown how many more shots or how long it took for this elephant to die.”

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Raby expressed frustration and confusion in an interview with the LA Times about PETA’s attacks.

“I don’t understand why this is anybody’s business but my own,” Raby said. “What I did is legal. I didn’t break a law. They’re going to place a ban because a bunch of … crybabies that don’t like hunting.”

“We’re not all bloodthirsty, psycho machines that people make us out to be,” he said. “I promise you, I can read an animal better than someone who is against hunting. They say they like animals, but they don’t know anything about them.”

Raby, who paid about $40,000 to kill the elephant and have the head mounted, argues that the African villages who host American hunters rely on that income.

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He also pointed out that many of the game ranches frequented by trophy hunters would be converted into farmland if hunting was banned. The animals who live there, including threatened animals like lions and elephants, would damage crops and be exterminated.

“We pay a lot of money to hunt these animals,” Raby said. “If we didn’t hunt, that land would be converted into cattle ranches and there’d be poaching. They don’t want lions killing their cattle or elephants destroying their crops.”

A number of scientific studies have backed Raby’s argument. Nearly 130 scientists signed a letter published last year in Science titled “Trophy hunting bans imperil biodiversity.”

In another study published in June, researchers from Rhodes University in South Africa conducted interviews with landowners currently operating trophy hunting businesses. A majority (91%) of landowners reported that the economic viability of their private land and the biodiversity on it would be lost following a hunting ban.

PETA has asked South African officials to investigate Raby’s hunt, in particular the prolonged death of the elephant, according to the LA Times.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Rusty Baillie August 24, 2020, 1:22 pm

    Yes……..PETA efforts are perhaps well-meant but invalid scientifically.
    If wildlife (including elephants) are not managed scientifically, they destroy the vegetation and cause massive negative environmental impacts. This planet cannot adjust itself “naturally” any more………it needs objective, rational management.
    Add to that the noted interaction with the local economy, and we get yet another case of well-meaning, liberal emotional propagandizing……which will cause havoc in the actual situation.
    How is our Education system turning out such a primitive, dysfunctional mind set………when we need clear thinking and careful decision-making?!

  • Robert Wayne Tippery August 20, 2020, 4:45 pm

    I hope PETA bankrupts that repugnant and degenerate trash!

  • Ought Six August 4, 2020, 2:06 pm

    This was not a clean kill. I am not a troll nor do I care for PETA. But as a hunter I am dedicated to one shot kills or just letting the animal go. Always use enough gun.

  • robert August 4, 2020, 12:59 pm

    maybe they should pass a law that they cant import demorats to california.

    • Robert August 20, 2020, 4:47 pm

      … or, conversely, deport all republicans to a more suitable environment.

  • Jerry S August 4, 2020, 10:05 am

    He’s right, they are a bunch of crybabies, but those types get all the media attention now. You can’t educate people who refuse to learn. It would shock their sensabilities to find out that their actions to save game animals will only deplete them in the end. Man has to be the driving force in conservation and that most assuredly includes paid hunting/harvesting of wild animals.

  • Big Al 45 August 4, 2020, 9:38 am

    “The prolonged death”.
    Gotta love that one, because there is nothing worse than a starving elephant baby, and I’ve seen pics of that from the very bad 2005 Kenyan drought. Breaks one’s heart.
    And in case people don’t know, South Africa is currently experiencing a very bad drought.
    So, what’s it gonna be, they all die from drought, or we manage the population.
    And according to the late Great Peter Capstick, Culling elephants is a dirty nasty business.
    Trophy hunting is THE best way to manage herds, and fill the peoples bellies, as most African Nations have laws that distribute the meat and disallow any waste.
    PETA people are flat out clueless, and narrow minded fools.

  • me August 4, 2020, 9:04 am

    As the saying goes, “You can’t fix stupid.” We need a concerted effort on the hunting side to show the benefits of hunting. I know there are organizations that do this, but every hunter needs to push back against the misinformation put out there by talking to non hunting friends and not letting PETA types control the narrative.

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