DONALD Trump's sons have been forced to defend themselves against accusations of cruelty after photographs emerged on the internet of them standing next to animals shot dead during a hunting holiday last year.
With their bouffant hairstyles and pin-striped suits, the millionaire sons of Donald Trump are a chip off the old block when they appear among New York's glitterati. But one area where Donald Jnr and Eric Trump don't see eye-to-eye with their father is in killing animals for fun.
Zimbabwean conservationists and animal-rights groups have hit out at the two millionaires -- and even Donald Snr has publicly questioned why they enjoyed hunting so much.
The brothers are shown in trophy photos standing next to a dead elephant, a crocodile, a kudu, a leopard and a waterbuck. The animals were all shot on a hunting range close to Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. In one picture, Donald Jnr is holding a knife and an elephant tail.
Wealthy hunters pay thousands of dollars to shoot big game in Africa. The most prized hunts are the so-called "Big Five" -- leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo. Four of the five are endangered. Killing one of these can often cost $10,000 (€7,640) for licences, which are meant to be strictly rationed.
Hunting lodges insist animal populations need to be controlled and that the money generated through licences finance conservation efforts and provide employment for locals.
In a series of tweets, 34-year-old Donald Jnr defended his holiday: "I hunt and eat game. I am a hunter, I don't hide from that." He also denied that the kills were wasteful, writing: "I can assure you it was not wasteful the villagers were so happy for the meat which they don't often get to eat. Very grateful." (© Independent News Service)