Businessman Kills Elephants to Help Farmers

April 11, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pose (v.) [pohz] – to position one’s body in a particular way, especially when being photographed
Example: The model posed gracefully in front of the camera.

2. drive off (idiom) [drahyv] [awf, of] – to force someone or something to go away
Example: Policemen drive off street beggars.

3. starvation (n.) [stahr-vey-shuhn] – the condition of being hungry for a long period of time
Example: The dry season has brought starvation to the village.

4. non-lethal (adj.) [nan] [lee-thuhl]  – not deadly or fatal
Example: Animals should be controlled in a non-lethal way.

Read the text below.

An internet businessman defended himself for hunting elephants in Zimbabwe and shooting them to death.

Bob Parsons, CEO of, posted an online video on his website which showed him killing a wild elephant in Zimbabwe and posing beside the animal lying dead on the ground. It also showed villagers rushing towards the elephant to cut its meat for food.

Parsons said he only wanted to help the farmers drive off wild elephants which would often run over crops and destroy them. Killing the wild elephants not only protected crops but also provided extra food for starved people, Parsons claimed.

He said that he posted the video on his website to show everyone the starvation of poor people in Zimbabwe.

Although killing wild elephants is not illegal in the country, Parsons’ critics said a better solution to control them would be donating money to finance non- methods like electric fences.

Parsons argued that his critics fail to understand the whole situation because as animal lovers, they are only concerned about the elephant.

Parsons has been to Zimbabwe several times and he has already killed five elephants since he started hunting them a year ago.

Negative comments flooded Parson’s website after the video came out. People were also urged to boycott his internet business. Meanwhile, Parson’s staff said that despite the controversy, Parson’s internet business remains stable.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are some reasons animals attack people?
·         How can we protect ourselves against wild animals without killing or harming them?

Discussion B

·         Should people who unnecessarily hurt or harm animals be punished by law? Why or why not?
·         Do you agree that animals have rights, too? Why or why not?

April 11, 2011