A safari hunter with Georgia ties said he’s enduring a slew of profanity-laced threats after a picture of his latest hunt, which shows him with an elephant shot dead between the eyes, kicked up a firestorm of protest on social media.
Online posts on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, accuse Mike Jines of killing two baby elephants on an African “trophy” hunt in Zimbabwe.
Jines, a partner with TopGen Energy, based in Alpharetta, told CBS46 what’s being circulated on social media is inaccurate and mischaracterizes what really happened. Jines said he and another experienced hunter shot the two adult elephants in self-defense when one, then the other charged toward them.
Jines described the moment in a forum he posted to shortly after the October 2018 hunt. [block quote]
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.
That post includes more pictures of the hunt. We’ve linked to them rather than show them because some of you may find them graphic. Click here if you want to see the images.
When asked how he and his company are dealing with the fallout, Jines said right now he’s focused on “making sure people understand the actual facts as opposed to the mischaracterization of the information on social media.”
Specifically, Jines said:
“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.” Jines, who communicated with CBS46 by email, said the elephants were shot in a designated safari area in Zimbabwe and the hunt was conducted in full compliance with laws and regulations in both Zimbabwe and the U.S.
Jines, who describes himself as an outdoorsman who hunts and fishes, says he isn’t sure how the picture originally got posted and that the vast majority of responses have been profane and threatening.
“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,” Jines wrote.