Idaho Wildlife Official's Safari Photos Spark an Uproar

In one, Blake Fischer boasts about killing a 'family of baboons' in Africa
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2018 7:53 AM CDT
File photo of baboons, these in Tanzania.   (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

(Newser) Another controversy is brewing about an American hunter's safari in Africa. This time it involves a Fish and Game commissioner in Idaho named Blake Fischer, who returned from a hunt in Namibia with his wife and boasted by email of all the animals he killed with a bow, reports the Idaho State Journal. The most controversial photo is of a smiling Fischer posing with four dead baboons. (Click the Journal link to the see the photo, or this tweet, but note that the image might be disturbing for some.) "Fellas," Fischer writes, explaining that his wife accompanied him because "she wanted to watch me and 'get a feel' of Africa ... so I shot a whole family of baboons. I think she got the idea quick." Fischer also provided photos of his other kills, including a giraffe, a leopard, an impala, a sable antelope, and a waterbuck, per the Idaho Statesman, which counts at least 14.

Fischer's email went out to dozens of acquaintances, including former commissioners on the Fish and Game panel. So far, three of those ex-commissioners have called for Fischer to resign from the panel, whose members are not paid and are appointed by the governor. "I'm sure what you did was legal, however, legal does not make it right," wrote one of them, Fred Trevey. Fischer, however, tells the Statesman: "I didn't do anything illegal. I didn't do anything unethical. I didn't do anything immoral." A spokesperson for Gov. CL "Butch" Otter said "it's fair to say the governor is concerned." Criticism isn't just coming from animal-rights activists. "What bothers me is he's got the family there and a little baby baboon sitting there with blood all over it, kind of like in the mother's arms," the director of the pro-hunting Idaho for Wildlife group tells IdahoNews. "You just don’t do this." (This man shot a bear in Alaska; then the unheard of happened.)

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