Elephants on PETA Billboards in South Africa Plead, ‘Leave Us in Peace’

New Campaign on 11 Billboards Takes Aim at Trophy Hunting After Video Shows American Tourist Repeatedly Shooting a Young Elephant

Johannesburg – “Trophy hunting tears families apart.” That’s the message on the new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) billboards featuring elephants that just went up across the country this week.

The billboards, sponsored by Primedia Outdoor, can be seen in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Krugersdorp, Pretoria, and Sandton.

The ads follow the release of video footage of an American trophy hunter gunning down a young elephant on land connected to Kruger National Park, where no hunting is allowed. The hunter, who paid nearly R 500,000 for the experience, received multiple instructions from his guides as he shot the elephant in the head at least five times, causing the young animal to rumble in distress. It’s not known how many more shots, if any, were taken or how long it took for the elephant to die.

“Tourists are flying to South Africa to gun down wildlife and kill for the sheer pleasure of killing,” says PETA Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA is calling on every kind person in South Africa to join us in opposing this cruel and greedy practice.”

Hunters kill millions of animals every year and have contributed to the extinction of species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk. Unlike natural predators, who kill primarily sick and weak individuals, trophy hunters specifically seek out large, healthy animals who are needed to keep populations strong. Animals who are injured but not killed by hunters escape only to die slowly and painfully from blood loss and starvation.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that animals are nothing more than trophies or commodities.

More details about the location of the billboards are available upon request.

For more information on trophy hunting, please visit PETAAsia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.