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LaPierres Made Stools Out of Their Elephant Kills

'New Yorker' and Trace detail the under-wraps shipments from 2013 safari hunt
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2021 2:50 PM CDT
LaPierres Made Stools Out of Their Elephant Kills
A 2017 photo of the NRA's Wayne LaPierre.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Earlier this year, the New Yorker and the Trace unearthed video of NRA exec Wayne LaPierre and wife Susan hunting elephants in Botswana back in 2013. Now comes a follow-up from both outlets on the logistics of what happened next—specifically, how the LaPierres wanted their kills preserved as trophies and how they went to great lengths to prevent the public from learning about their hunt. In regard to the elephant parts: Emails show that Susan LaPierre instructed that the "four front feet" from their kills be turned into stools, an umbrella stand, and a trash can. The tusks were to be mounted and the skulls preserved. Other trophies from the safari hunt: a Cape-buffalo skull, elephant skin (to be fashioned into handbags), elephant ears, plus skulls and skins from a hyena (this one became a rug), a zebra, and a few other animals.

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The safari hunt itself was perfectly legal, but the LaPierres feared a public backlash and ordered that their names be removed from all shipping documents, according to emails cited in the story. Instead, the items were sent to the US in the name of a American taxidermist. The investigation asserts that the LaPierres ran afoul of the NRA's own rules by using Wayne's position as leverage to get all this work done for free. "The episode represents a rare instance in which the gun group’s embattled chief executive is captured, on paper, unambiguously violating NRA rules," according to the story. An NRA spokesperson disagrees and says everything was above-board. The New York state attorney general, who is seeking to dissolve the organization over alleged financial improprieties, may have the final word on that. (Read more NRA stories.)

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