We’ve heard a lot during this election season about privilege. What it means, who has it, and who pretends not to. Turns out privilege means “A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” For the Trump family, it also means paying exorbitant fees to slaughter exotic and critically endangered animals. Why? Because they can, of course.
Just five years ago, Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, visited Zimbabwe on a big game hunting expedition with Hunting Legends International, the safari-cum-hunting outfit that specializes in extravagant hunting experiences for the wealthy and promises both an “unforgettable experience” and a place where “one can still connect with Mother Nature and allow her to sooth your soul”— all while slaughtering Africa’s most exotic and endangered animals.
And that’s exactly what Donald Jr. and Eric did.
Photographs of their purportedly legal expedition in 2011 show the brothers’ extensive kills, including an African elephant, a 12’8” crocodile (shown hanging by a noose in a tree), a kudu, a waterbuck, and a leopard, which has been frequently misreported as a cheetah.
While many of these species are threatened, leopard populations in North Africa, the Middle East and Russia are classed as “critically endangered.” And yet according to a Hunting Legends article, which quotes Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokesperson for Zimbabwe’s National Parks, 500 leopards are allotted for hunting in their park each and every year. That is, if you can afford to pay the Hunting Legends’ kill fees.
That’s right. Hunting big endangered game is a luxury that costs big American dollars. Not a problem, of course, for the Trump sons who can clearly shell out for Hunting Legend’s kill-on-demand experience. The site lists prices in the thousands of dollars, ranging from $4,500 for a giraffe to $60,000 for an exotic golden wildebeest.
The kudu killed by the Trump sons boasts a 2016 kill fee of over $4,000, while the waterbuck is listed at $3,250. The “Dangerous” section lists kill fees for the crocodile ($9,500), the buffalo ($7,500-$18,000), a female lion ($8,500) and a hippo ($9,750).
And the kill fee for the Trump’s threatened elephant and the critically endangered leopard? Those prices are so high, Hunting Legends doesn’t even list them, citing “P.O.R.”—price on request—instead.
With their most expensive kill fee at $60,000, one can venture that both the elephant and leopard likely cost well in excess of $100,000. Some would say a small fortune. But what’s a small fortune to the Trumps, one of America’s wealthiest, most privileged families?
Hunting Legends doesn’t just cater to the wealthy elite. They also offer “affordable” hunting experiences everyone can enjoy.
Now, according to their website, the “dream” of hunting wildlife in Africa is more accessible than ever. You can murder a black-backed jackal for just $200, for instance, or a warthog a la Disney’s Pumba for a very reasonable $500.
For the big game, there are also bargains to be had. Economizing patrons are offered packages like the “Hippo & Croc Combo” for just $21,170, a savings of $3,500. Good to know that Hunting Legends is making the slaughter of Africa’s most rare and beautiful animals available to everyone, not just the Trumps and the wealthiest 1%.
And in case you’re wondering where Donald J. Trump stands on all of this, the presidential candidate—and likely Republican nominee—Tweeted this following the backlash of his son’s expedition: “My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment.”