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GoDaddy CEO Bagged Female, not “Bull”

Video clues indicate Parsons was wrong

Bob Parsons with his trophy elephant

Bob Parsons, the billionaire CEO of the Internet company GoDaddy, is still saying that the elephant he shot and killed on a hunting expedition in Africa was a dangerous male “problem elephant.”

According to a leading researcher and conservationist, that claim is in dispute, which may further add to the growing backlash caused by Thursday’s video of the killing.

“The ‘bull’ that [he] brags about appears to be a young female,” elephant researcher and conservationist Joyce Poole told Discovery News. “The video is low resolution, but the elephant’s very slender tusks and the lack of male genitalia, which would have been visible, leave me with little doubt. Was Mr. Parsons so ignorant that he was not able to sex the elephant he killed, or was his claim that the elephant was a bull just one more example of his macho arrogance and misjudgment?”

Parsons also said that local villagers were grateful that he’d killed the elephant because food is in short supply. But elephants are an increasingly endangered species, and killing them solves nothing.

“Wildlife management authorities can continue to shoot so-called ‘problem’ elephants until the last elephant is exterminated and still not solve the food challenge,” said Poole, who is director of research and conservation at ElephantVoices. “As a global community we should deal with these issues rather than continue to blame and exterminate elephants.”

The real problems for humans in the region, Poole said, are poor use of farmland, corrupt regimes and climate change.

What can you do? If you think the killing was a senseless act, there’s an online petition condemning Parsons. Join the crowd. Or go to ElephantVoices or Save the Elephants to help make a difference.