After the photos received severe backlash, he claimed the elephants were killed in self-defense, but the photos make it hard to believe.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details and images of animal cruelty that readers may find disturbing.
Mike Jines is a successful American businessman, but what he's now known for is him standing next to the lifeless bodies of two baby elephants that he hunted down and shot with his partner Max “Buzz” Delezenne, reports ACH News. According to Metro, it was reported that the two elephants were calves and they were killed by Jines and his friend in Zimbabwe. The gut-wrenching pictures show the elephants' bodies lying motionless after they were shot to the ground, while Delezenne stood with a big smile on his face and Jines looked hella proud of his achievement. As per reports, no official statement was released on whether the elephants were actually babies.
In search of tusk-less elephants to slaughter, this ‘man’ killed these two teens from a herd of females, claiming they charged him. Then he posed with, and between their dead bodies. These babies were mourned by the herd. Greed & Ego! 😒@Protect_Wldlife @rickygervais @PeterEgan6 pic.twitter.com/kzWr4R33p1— Xpose Trophy Hunting (@XposeTrophyHunt) January 16, 2019
Soon after the photos went viral, Jines started receiving threats. The affluent businessman is a partner with a company called TopGen Energy. Social media users pleaded with people to boycott the company by discontinuing their services. Jines, however, claimed that his side of the story was different from the information that was being circulated. "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," Jines posted on a forum, as quoted by CBS46.
"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 apiece and she went down. Then from behind us, a large one-tusked cow charged at full speed." He went on to say, "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."
What a big man posing for his sick photos. Bet he can’t wait to tell his Mummy what a hero he is. Pathetic coward, going back to his lonely wasted life. No justification, Trophy Hunting has no place in a civilised world. Get a responsible “hobby” you complete arseholes.— James Seaton (@TonyScorer) January 20, 2019
Jines told CBS46 via e-mail that the two elephants were shot in a designated safari area in Zimbabwe and that the hunt took place in accordance with America's and Zimbabwe's laws and regulations. Jines said, "The two elephants that are shown in the photos were shot in self-defense, in an unprovoked charge and both elephants were fully mature cows, not juveniles." "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," he added.
😩😭Very, very heavy heart. Trophy hunting should outlawed & punishable as a murder. Elephants are very intelligent, loving, loyal, & family-oriented.— Candle of Peace🆘 (@Candle_Of_Peace) February 16, 2019