A Georgia hunter received backlash on social media after photos of his Zimbabwe hunting trip surfaced. The photos show Mike Jines posing with two elephants he had killed. Professional hunter Max Delezenne is also pictured. The photos sparked a maelstrom of negative comments. Commenters took to Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to express their outrage over the photos. Many mentioned that the elephants Jines killed seem to be babies.
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Jines, who is a partner at TopGen Energy in Georgia, spoke out after his company began to be affected by the online comments. He communicated with CBS46, a Georgia news outlet, via email. He wrote that he is concentrating on “making sure people understand the actual facts as opposed to the mischaracterization of the information on social media.”
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In the same email, Jines defended that he had killed the elephants. “The two elephant that are shown in the photos were shot in self-defense, in an unprovoked charge and both elephants were fully mature cows, not juveniles.” He said that he had shot the elephants in a designated safari area in Zimbabwe. Jines wrote that the hunt was in compliance with both Zimbabwe and U.S. laws and regulations.Jines gave his own account of the hunt and posted it to a forum. CBS46 shared the account.
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“The hunt started with a bang . . . literally. Less than thirty minutes into the first morning of the first day we experienced a double elephant cow charge. This was obviously a first for me but it turns out it was a first for Buzz as well. We saw a group of cows from the road and decided to follow them to see if a tuskless was in the group. We caught them quickly and identified a tuskless. We positioned ourselves to get a good look at the tuskless and concluded that since it was just Day 1 we would pass. An instant later she came in an all out charge. Buzz and I both fired two shots a piece and she went down. Then from behind us a large one-tusked cow charged at full speed. We each fired one shot and she crashed to the ground with her hind legs out behind her, indicating the speed and determination of her charge. The two cows were less than forty feet apart with Buzz and I in the middle. Fortunately we had positioned ourselves in some open ground so we had good visibility when the charges came. Certainly a little more excitement than we had bargained for on Day 1.”
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While Jines has defended himself by saying that the elephants were killed in self-defense, some have pointed out that his SCI Houston profile says that his “hunting passion is hunting elephant on a classic tracking hunt with a double rifle.” The profile also mentions that he “has hunted extensively across Africa and has shot multiple species of each of the Big Seven with the exception of rhino.”
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ines doesn’t believe that he deserves the response he has received for having killed elephants. In his email to CBS46, he wrote, “While I can appreciate that hunting can be polarizing and that views on hunting can vary materially, I am sure that you can appreciate what it is like to deal with the vitriol particularly when the underlying information, in this case, is inaccurate.”