Moral Low Ground


GoDaddy CEO Films Himself Killing an Elephant

Bob Parsons, CEO of web hosting giant GoDaddy, recently went on vacation in strife-torn Zimbabwe. While there, he shot and killed an elephant, and made a bizarre souvenir video of his trophy kill to boot. Parsons claims the elephant was terrorizing villagers and destroying farmers’ sorghum crops, threatening their livelihood and thus justifying the kill. However, Parsons seems ignorant of the fact that there are non-lethal alternatives to shooting the animal. My guess is “saving the farmers” was just an excuse for Parsons to kill the majestic creature.

If there is a silver lining to this story, it is that the local villagers (many of them wearing bright orange GoDaddy baseball caps) butchered the elephant’s meat. But what began as an orderly process quickly deteriorated into a free-for-all as too many villagers attempted to divvy up too little elephant. Hunger is a very real problem in Zimbabwe, ruled as it is by the corrupt despot Robert Mugabe, who lives in opulence while his people exist on the brink of starvation.

Parsons defends the killing. He released the following statement:

“I stand by my decision to help African villagers. I believe elephant management is beneficial. I have the support of the people who really matter in this situation, the families of Zimbabwe— people who need help to survive. I have the support of tribal leaders and the government.”

Having the support of the Mugabe regime is like having O.J. Simpson endorse your glove company. And if Parsons really gave a damn about elephant management, he would get involved with a conservation organization that works to achieve a livable balance between humans and elephants instead of shooting them.

All the usual suspects have expressed their outrage at Parsons’ actions. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent him a letter in which he was “honored” with the animal welfare organization’s “first-ever Scummiest CEO of the Year Award.” PETA also informed Parsons that they’re “taking [their] domain-name business elsewhere.”

Parsons responded by crying extortion: “I understand PETA has an agenda, but I refuse to go along with their extortion-style practice,” he said.

Here’s Parson’s video. Be warned, it features graphic elephant hunting footage as well as the carnage of the villagers butchering the animal.


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  1. Franziska Schleiter via FacebookMarch 31, 2011 at 11:41 amReply

    And all this done by a man that would actually have the money to finance better (and longterm) solutions for the problem…

  2. Gianmarco Conegliano via FacebookMarch 31, 2011 at 2:24 pmReply

    Does that mean one less Republican?

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 31, 2011 at 6:10 pmReplyAuthor

      No, those are GOOD elephants in Africa!

  3. heatherMarch 31, 2011 at 5:03 pmReply

    This guy is so gross. He did it to help the villagers? Please! What an ego maniac. If he really cares so much, what else is he doing? How much money does he give them to really fight the problem? How many people could have been fed with the money spent on his “vacation”? Eww.

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 31, 2011 at 6:09 pmReplyAuthor

      Eww indeed!

  4. Stacey CunninghamMarch 31, 2011 at 7:58 pmReply

    what a complete a-hole!! elephants are majestic creatures and should not be killed for sport! i hope people think again before using his services from now on. i will never use godaddy again! Im sorry but I cant support this type of behavior. lets send a message loud and clear! if you have sites with godaddy move them to a different provider! I moved my sites today to ferngullygraphics for hosting at

  5. John SmithApril 1, 2011 at 11:55 amReply

    Man,wish I could have cut up some of that meat. Don’t worry I would have saved the bleeding heart for this website…

    • Brett WilkinsApril 1, 2011 at 12:01 pmReplyAuthor

      Ha! Being an elephant, I bet it would’ve been a very large bleeding heart!

  6. PBurnsApril 1, 2011 at 2:29 pmReply

    The Demographics of Elephants in Zimbabwe is an interesting read if you care to get educated on the issue. With photos and links to actual SCIENCE.

  7. catherineApril 2, 2011 at 12:18 pmReply

    This sickens me, with him posing with his fat belly in photos. He cloaks his blood lust and love of killing innocent animals under the guise he’s doing something for the farmers there. He must have paid off the corrupt dictator Mugabe. This is so wrong and evil on every level.

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