Exclusive Update: Zimbabwe Authorities Refute Allegations of Trumps' Illegal Hunt

Exclusive Update: Zimbabwe Authorities Refute Allegations of Trumps' Illegal Hunt


On Monday, we reported on the criticism facing Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump after photos of the brothers' 2010 hunt circulated around the web.


In the story, we cited a report from The Associated Press, which reported that Zimbabwe officials were investigating supposed wrongdoings in the hunt, which ranged from using dogs to hunt leopards (legal sometimes, illegal others) to mishandling of paperwork and distribution of game meat to local villages.

It seems, however, that those reports were false, and that comes straight from the Zimbabwe government.


On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. emailed Petersen's Hunting online editor Ben O'Brien with an attached letter from the director-general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Vitallis Chadenga. In the letter, Chadenga chastises various anti-hunting groups for their efforts to smear the Trumps, and calls into question the validity of claims that the hunt was fenced or canned hunt. The letter reads as follows:

As Director General of The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority I would like to officially respond to the baseless allegations that Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump hunted illegally during their visit to Zimbabwe. First and foremost, there is no "Official Investigation" into the Trump's activities here as from day one all the requisite documentation was properly handled and the appropriate licenses were obtained which resulted in the issuance of the export paperwork. The only investigation which should occur is that of the "anti-hunting" organizations who are peddling untruths falsely represented as facts.

The Trumps booked a hunt through a South African firm that worked with a locally owned and registered outfitter who handled all the required hunting permits and hired the registered Zimbabwe Professional Hunters. In addition, as required by law, the Trump hunt took place under the supervision of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Game Rangers who accompany hunters daily making sure that all rules and regulations are followed. The Trump's hunt was no different from that of thousands of other hunters who come to Zimbabwe annually from around the world to pursue game.

Any allegations to the contrary, are simply false and being perpetrated by anti-hunting groups looking to create a salacious story to further their cause at the expense of the hunting industry.

Matetsi Unit 1 where the hunt in question took place is in excess of 40,000 hectares, thus approximately 100,000 acres of unfenced and open wilderness with the rest of the Matetsi Controlled Hunting Area, so the notion that this was a canned or behind a fence hunt is also absurd. The Matetsi complex is a highly regulated area where strict quotas for game are made every year so as to maintain optimal conditions for all game to survive and thrive.

Hunting, and the fees derived thereof, are a vital part of our conservation efforts to preserve the natural beauty of Zimbabwe's wilderness as well as a vital part of our nation's economy. The fees are used to maintain local Fauna and Flora, fund anti-poaching campaigns, and pay the salaries of park rangers who manage the area. Fees from hunters make up a very significant portion of our budgets and without these fees many of these areas would not be able to maintain their natural state.

We are seriously concerned by the actions intended to destroy the reputation of the hunters and outfitters who lawfully come to Zimbabwe and abide by our game laws and regulations. We expect that this issue and the false accusations against the Trumps are laid to rest and we sincerely hope to welcome them back to enjoy Zimbabwe's natural heritage in the near future.

Regards,

V. Chadenga

Director-General

Keep checking Petersen's Hunting for more updates on this story as they come in.

Recommended for You

Guns

Top Precision Rifles for Hunting in 2019

Joseph Von Benedikt - April 22, 2019

Here are our top choices for hunting this fall!

Camping

What's In Your Backcountry Pack?

Tracy Breen

Having just the right amount of lightweight gear can make or break a hunt. Find out the best...

Clothing

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 10: Snowbound Chamois

Host Brittany Boddington gets more than she bargained for on what turned out to be a grueling, snowbound and extremely physical hunt for chamois in Romania's Carpathian mountains.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 13: Forest Buffalo

Craig Boddington returns to Mozambique's fame Coutada 10 for a shot a forest buffalo that's eluded him for 10 years.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the...

Guns

Remington Timeline: 1963 - Remington Model 1100 Autoloading Shotguns

Hunting Online Staff - August 09, 2016

It was the fall of 1962, and a meeting was underway at the Remington firearms plant in Ilion,...

Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby - August 18, 2017

The current 6.5 (.264 caliber) craze, is best attributed to the,'6.5 Creedmoor, but once...

See More Stories

More News

News

Poachers Pay More with Boone and Crockett's New Plan

Frank Miniter - October 03, 2016

You look at the photo of him grinning pensively, as if just a touch of worry is in the corners...

News

Can Hunters and Non-Hunters Honor Shared Values?

Tovar Cerulli - August 10, 2016

Sometimes the drama plays out on an international stage, as it did last summer with Cecil the...

News

Trump Puts Predator Control Back In Hands of the States

PH Online Editors - August 31, 2017

Who gets to manage wildlife on national wildlife refuges? Thanks to House Joint Resolution 69,...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×