Pictures of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the two adult sons of bombastic 2016 candidate Donald Trump, shooting wild animals in Africa have resurfaced, sparking unflattering comparisons of the mogul’s heirs to lion-killer Walter Palmer.
The Trump brothers went on a 2011 hunting trip in Zimbabwe, where they snapped photos of themselves with enormous dead animals they took down.
In one photo, Donald Trump Jr., known to many as “Donnie,” is seen toting a rifle and flashing a huge grin while seated next to a dead buffalo he had just killed. In another picture, Eric Trump is seen sitting atop his fresh kill, another buffalo, smiling as the dead animal lies still on the ground.
In yet another grisly snap, the brothers are seen smiling while holding a dead cheetah. And in another pic, Donald Jr. is seen holding a knife in one hand and the bloody, detached tail of an elephant in the other.
The pictures resemble those taken recently of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer alongside Cecil, the once-regal 13-year-old lion he lured off protected land in Zimbabwe and killed with a bow and arrow.
Palmer, who faces poaching charges for the kill, reportedly paid $55,000 to local guides for the lion hunt earlier this month.
Palmer stalked the animal for 40 hours before killing it, skinning it and beheading it. Two Zimbabwean nationals have been charged in the incident, including the owner of the farm where the kill took place, and Palmer is being sought as well.
Unlike Palmer, though, the Trumps went through Hunting Legends, an apparently reputable safari and hunting trip organizer that allows clients to “hunt, fish and golf the world.”
Attempts to reach the Trump brothers weren’t immediately successful.
Donald Jr. and Eric have opined extensively on the values of hunting wild game in prior interviews.
“Anyone who thinks hunters are just ‘bloodthirsty morons’ hasn’t looked into hunting,” Donald Jr. told Forbes magazine in 2012. “If you wait through long, cold hours in the November woods with a bow in your hands hoping a buck will show or if you spend days walking in the African bush trailing Cape buffalo while listening to lions roar, you’re sure to learn hunting isn’t about killing.
“Nature actually humbles you,” he said. “Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing makes you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.”
His candidate father, through a spokesperon, declined to comment on the matter. However, he has said a number of times he doesn’t get the appeal.
“My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it,” Trump told TMZ in 2012. “I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”