By Sofia M. Fernandez
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - GoDaddy founder and CEO Bob Parsons is under fire for killing an elephant in Zimbabwe.
A video of the hunt was posted on Parsons' blog, along with a picture of him next to the dead animal. The video provides a scene-by-scene description of the shooting and concludes that Parsons' action was just because it helped farmers scare away elephants that were damaging crops and that the dead pachyderm fed many villagers.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) closed its account with GoDaddy in response to the video and urged others to follow suit.
The group said in a statement, "Parsons is hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants helps farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants. Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts."
Change.org has set up an online petition stating, "If Parsons truly wants to be a hero, he should donate the thousands of dollars he spent to kill that elephant on his vacation to organizations that are working on humane ways to resolve the problem all year round."
Parsons responded to criticism on his blog: "The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation and one of the problems they have is the elephants, of which there are thousands and thousands, that trash many of their fields destroying the crops. These people have literally nothing and when an elephant is killed it's a big event for them, they are going to be able to eat some protein."
He adds that he and his hunting group avoid elephant cows and "only kill mature bulls" if at all possible because it has less effect on an elephant herd, which is matriarchal.
GoDaddy is a web hosting company and Internet domain registrar.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)