Go Daddy goes to Zimbabwe to “help” with hunting, pays at least $384 to Mugabe regime

Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons tweeted a triumphant, music video of himself stalking and killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. After the hunt, we see an unruly crowd the next day in Go Daddy hats cutting up the elephant to eat. The whole thing is supposed to show how great Parsons is, swooping in, killing a “problem” elephant and providing food for all these poor Africans.

His trip also gave about $400 – $800 directly to the Robert Mugabe regime.
What’s next? Shooting tigers in North Korea? Maybe there are some feral camels in Libya that Parsons could hunt.

His guides Ian Gloss and Tim Element ran hunts at Matesi Zimbabwe in 2008, says newsletter from Hunters & Guides. EyesonAfrica says the Matesi area is “the single biggest rangeland for Africa’s surviving elephants.” There’s no fence dividing it with the national park. The video says its “Labola, Zimbabwe,” but that town doesn’t seem to exist; it is, however, the Zimbabwe term for payments for brides. Mary Cummins reports they now work at The African Safari Company. That makes sense since Parson’s wife Renee and Ian write on their Facebook page.

If so, the charge was between $19,200 and $38,835. That includes just one guide and a “2 % Government Levy on Safari Rate (Mandatory).” So by hunting in Zimbabwe, Bob Parsons gave at least $384 – $777 to the Mugabe regime. (And it doesn’t include a $16,000 elephant trophy fee.)

The video has suspenseful music and titles, whining about how hard it is for the hunters to sit still in the dark for four hours. Then when villagers–supplied with GoDaddy hats and plastic bags–butcher the elephant, there’s AC/DC music and not so kind words: “As more and more villagers from surrounding areas arrive the scene turns to mayhem.” Even though the elephant is huge, there’s not enough meat for everybody the title says. Oh, if only there were more brave men like Bob Parsons.

Parsons gives the typical NRA line that people who complain about hunting just don’t understand and probably get their meat from McDonald’s. “It’s one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do,” he brags under the title DrBobParsons. No, he doesn’t have a medical degree; he has an honorary doctorate from the University of Baltimore.

The African Safari company supports the local Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, a non-profit that targets both commercial and substinence hunters.  So any sensible person recognizes you can’t just shoot everything to feed people. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force says many preserves have lost most of their wildlife under Mugabe’s crazy rule. Under Mugabe 1.6 million people need international food aid, says the UN Food Program. They suffer from unemployment (80%), cholera and AIDS (15%).

The U.S. State Department warns against delivering actual humanitarian aid: “Resident and visiting U.S. citizens have been arrested, detained, and threatened with expulsion for activities that would not be considered crimes in the U.S., including the administration of humanitarian aid and the expression of opinions regarding the current political regime in Zimbabwe.”

Two domain registrars, NameCheap.com and Domainit.com, started offering We-Hate-Elephant-Hunting sales that will effectively take money from GoDaddy, a cheap domain name store, and give it to elephant causes like SaveTheElephants.org and WorldWildLifeFund.org.  “We at Namecheap are very disturbed by this video of a competitor killing an elephant for sport,” a company spokesman told TheDomains.com. “We’ve decided to throw our support behind our Elephant friends by offering domain transfers at a price where we actually lose money.”

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