NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Photos have surfaced online of Donald Trump's sons Eric and Donald, Jr. enjoying a big game hunt in Zimbabwe in August 2010.
One of the photos depicts the brothers standing side by side, with Eric hoisting the carcass of a leopard.
Another photo depicts Donald Trump Jr. standing with a knife and the severed tail of an elephant. Another shows Donald Trump, Jr. leaning against the carcass of a cape buffalo.
A compilation video of the images was posted to YouTube.
The photos originated on the Hunting Legends website. Hunting Legends organizes big game hunts in Africa. The company confirmed in an email to CBSNewYork.com that the Trumps went for 10 days. They did not disclose the cost of the hunt.
"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," Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump said in a statement. "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."
PETA took issue with the hunt, releasing the following statement:
"If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father's footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals. Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires' grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal."
"All of the animals which were hunted went to local communities and villagers who benefit from such hunting safaris," said Phillip J. Mostert of Hunting Legends Africa in an email. Mostert said the areas the hunt took place were "legal, ethical and fair chase."
"If more people like the Trumps put their money where their mouths are, the world will be a better place," Mostert wrote. Mostert went on to explain his view that hunting in approved areas in the fashion his company does combats poaching and benefits local villages.
"The very presence of international trophy hunters in these remote and undeveloped areas is the only reason why conservation is winning the battle against extinction," Mostert wrote. "Not only man benefits from this, but nature at large, because these vast and... extremely remote areas are now being protected by even the local villagers themselves, to to mention governments and outfitters such as ourselves."
"Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric deserve to be praised for their contribution towards conservation through ethical and sustainable hunting, not hung out in public and belittled," he added.
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