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14 Oct, 2018 18:52

Wildlife official who killed ‘whole family of baboons’ faces backlash, calls for resignation

Wildlife official who killed ‘whole family of baboons’ faces backlash, calls for resignation

An Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner who shared graphic images of animals he killed in Africa, including a “family of baboons,” is facing calls to resign.

Blake Fischer shared photos of his guided hunting trip in Namibia in an email sent to over 100 recipients, prompting a number of former gaming commissioners to respond in disgust and with calls for his resignation.

Fischer and his wife killed at least 14 animals on the trip, including giraffe, leopard, impala, antelope, warthog and an oryx, according to the images shared in the email which was obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request to the governor’s office.

The photo causing the most outrage is the one showing Fischer posing with what he described as a “whole family of baboons” killed with a bow and arrow. A baby baboon is shown with blood coming out of its abdomen.

Tred Trevey, a former Fish and Game commissioner told Fischer to resign “to shield the commission as an institution and hunting as a legitimate tool of wildlife management from the harm that is sure to come,” emails obtained by the Idaho Statesman show. “I’m sure what you did was legal, however, legal does not make it right,” he wrote.

“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral,” Fischer told the Statesman. He went on to draw comparisons between Idaho’s Fish and Game statute about managing surplus animals through hunting, fishing and trapping, saying, “Africa does the same thing.”

Fischer said they had been given a list of animals that could be killed, and that some species require the hunters to pay a trophy fee.

Another photograph featured Fischer standing next to a giraffe, his foot resting on the animal’s neck. “This photo doesn’t do it justice,” he wrote, “when we walked up on this guy, it was shocking how big it was. Look at me and the rifle compared to it. It is all I can do to hold the head up.”

Fischer defended his photographs with the animals, explaining, “I was raised in a very ethical hunting family. In every picture, we try to pose the animals in a natural position, wipe the blood off the mouth, place the rifle or bow over the bullet hole.” This appears to contradict the way he handled the giraffe and the baby baboon.

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