Video released of NRA chief hunting African elephant

Footage leaked Tuesday showing Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and his wife shooting two now-endangered elephants in Botswana in 2013.

The Trace and The New Yorker obtained copies of the footage — filmed with the intention of promoting the organization’s reputation among hunters — eight years after it was filmed. The footage reportedly never aired over concerns of public perception, according to The New Yorker.

The 10-minute video shows LaPierre shooting an African savanna elephant three times but failing to kill it, as he repeatedly shot it in the wrong place at point-blank range. Someone else eventually finished the job.

“He went down, so that’s what counts,” a guide tells LaPierre in the footage.

Later that day, his wife, Susan LaPierre, successfully made her kill.

“Victory!” she yelled as she held the animal’s tail in the air after cutting it off. “That’s my elephant tail. Way cool.”

Since footage of the hunting trip has surfaced, LaPierre has come under fire by wildlife conservationists. 

“Savannah elephants were just declared endangered by international experts, and these intelligent beings certainly shouldn’t be used as paper targets by an inept marksman,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, according to USA Today.

She continued, “It’s sickening to see LaPierre’s brutal, clumsy slaughter of this beautiful creature. No animal should suffer like this. We’re in the midst of a poaching epidemic, and rich trophy hunters like the NRA chief are blasting away at elephants while the international community calls for stiffer penalties for poachers – what message does that send?”

The African savanna elephant was recently listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species.

The NRA did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Tags Elephant Endangered species National Rifle Association Shooting sports Wayne LaPierre

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