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PETA releases video of trophy hunter shooting elephant as California votes on anti-trophy bill

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peta releases video of trophy hunter shooting elephant as california votes on anti trophy bill

A California trophy hunter who killed an elephant and ate a piece of it for dinner says he’s being abused online after PETA released video of his hunt as it promotes a state bill seeking to ban the importation and possession of endangered African animals. 

Aaron Raby, who describes himself as a ‘blue-collar’ crane operator from Los Angeles, paid more than $30,000 for a South Africa hunting trip to shoot and kill the tusked elephant and paid roughly $10,000 to have its head preserved as a souvenir of his expedition.

 On Monday the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released video of Raby’s kill in a bid to pressure lawmakers to pass new legislation, Senate Bill 1175, which seeks to ban Raby and other hunters from ever getting and keeping such trophies. 

His elephant head is still being prepared by a taxidermist in South Africa.

On Monday PETA released video of Los Angeles man Aaron Raby killing an elephant in South Africa in December 2019 in a bid to pressure California lawmakers to ban hunting trophies

On Monday PETA released video of Los Angeles man Aaron Raby killing an elephant in South Africa in December 2019 in a bid to pressure California lawmakers to ban hunting trophies

On Monday PETA released video of Los Angeles man Aaron Raby killing an elephant in South Africa in December 2019 in a bid to pressure California lawmakers to ban hunting trophies 

The harrowing video shows Raby (above) with guides shooting at a lone young elephant wandering in a hunting ground near Kruger National Park. The hunting ground and park aren't separated by any fencing or barrier

The harrowing video shows Raby (above) with guides shooting at a lone young elephant wandering in a hunting ground near Kruger National Park. The hunting ground and park aren't separated by any fencing or barrier

The harrowing video shows Raby (above) with guides shooting at a lone young elephant wandering in a hunting ground near Kruger National Park. The hunting ground and park aren’t separated by any fencing or barrier

In the clip he fires at least four times with three shots directed towards the elephant's head

In the clip he fires at least four times with three shots directed towards the elephant's head

In the clip he fires at least four times with three shots directed towards the elephant’s head

Raby reportedly ate a piece of the elephant with a side of sliced tomato and avocado for dinner after the kill. Raby pictured in the trees shooting at the elephant from a close range

Raby reportedly ate a piece of the elephant with a side of sliced tomato and avocado for dinner after the kill. Raby pictured in the trees shooting at the elephant from a close range

Raby reportedly ate a piece of the elephant with a side of sliced tomato and avocado for dinner after the kill. Raby pictured in the trees shooting at the elephant from a close range

Raby posted his photo on Facebook after the kill writing: 'This is the reality of hunting! Conservation funded and people fed!'

Raby posted his photo on Facebook after the kill writing: 'This is the reality of hunting! Conservation funded and people fed!'

Raby posted his photo on Facebook after the kill writing: ‘This is the reality of hunting! Conservation funded and people fed!’

The legislation seeks to ban the importation and possession of animal parts from a list of endangered and threatened African species, including elephants, lions and rhinos. 

The bill has already passed in the state Senate and is expected to pass the Assembly on Tuesday. 

‘I don’t understand why this is anybody’s business but my own,’ Raby said to the Los Angeles Times. ‘What I did is legal. I didn’t break a law. They’re going to place a ban because a bunch of … crybabies that don’t like hunting.’

It’s been a long road for California which passed similar legislation in the Assembly and Senate two years ago, but the bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown who called the trophy ban ‘unenforceable’.

Democratic Sen. Henry Stern is championing the new bill.

‘It’s time to wake up and realize that we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event,’ he said.

He says he’s confident Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign this year’s bill.

This year the Trump administration approved the import of a lion trophy from Tanzania, marking the first approval since lions began receiving protections in January 2016 as a threatened species.

Raby is a hunter who faced public criticism, even threats and harassment, after he posted himself with a lion he killed in the past. Pictured in the Kalahari desert in South Africa with a dead lion in September 2016

Raby is a hunter who faced public criticism, even threats and harassment, after he posted himself with a lion he killed in the past. Pictured in the Kalahari desert in South Africa with a dead lion in September 2016

Raby is a hunter who faced public criticism, even threats and harassment, after he posted himself with a lion he killed in the past. Pictured in the Kalahari desert in South Africa with a dead lion in September 2016

Raby pictured in May 2019 posing with a slain Hartmann's mountain zebra in Namibia

Raby pictured in May 2019 posing with a slain Hartmann's mountain zebra in Namibia

Raby pictured in May 2019 posing with a slain Hartmann’s mountain zebra in Namibia

Raby poses with a hunted Chinese water deer (above) in February 2017 during a hunting trip in the United Kingdom

Raby poses with a hunted Chinese water deer (above) in February 2017 during a hunting trip in the United Kingdom

Raby pictured in February 2017 during a hunting trip in the United Kingdom

Raby pictured in February 2017 during a hunting trip in the United Kingdom

Raby poses with a hunted Chinese water deer (left) and other creatures in February 2017 during a hunting trip in the United Kingdom 

Raby pictured with a massive bear in this September 2016 social media photo

Raby pictured with a massive bear in this September 2016 social media photo

Raby pictured with a massive bear in this September 2016 social media photo

31511478 8588271 image m 37 1596468788659

31511478 8588271 image m 37 1596468788659

Raby is a hunter who has faced public criticism, even threats and harassment, after he posted himself with a lion he killed in the past.

The video shared by PETA shows a lone young elephant walking in a hunting ground near Kruger National Park, where elephants are protected. The hunting area and park are not separated by a fence meaning animals can become vulnerable by crossing into the wrong territory. 

Raby points his gun and shoots and when he fires the elephant falls to its knees and the group of hunters move in closer.

Over the course of the video Raby shoots the elephant four more times —  with three more hitting the animal’s head and nearing the animal for close-range shots. It’s unknown how many shots it took for the elephant to die.

In the clip the elephant is seen breathing heavily and struggling to get up.   

Democratic Sen. Henry Stern is championing the new bill. 'It’s time to wake up and realize that we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event,' he said

Democratic Sen. Henry Stern is championing the new bill. 'It’s time to wake up and realize that we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event,' he said

Democratic Sen. Henry Stern is championing the new bill. ‘It’s time to wake up and realize that we’re in the middle of a mass extinction event,’ he said

31517864 8588271 image a 52 1596476469400

31517864 8588271 image a 52 1596476469400

The video ends with a pic of Raby posing over the slain animal.

Raby reportedly ate a piece of the elephant with a side of sliced tomato and avocado for dinner after the kill.

PETA is requesting South Africa officials investigate Raby’s hunt and the prolonged death of the elephant.

PETA argues that the kill violated the preserve’s requirement that animals are provided with ‘ethical and humane’ treatment and that guides comply ‘with the highest moral and ethical standards in recognition of a reverence for life and good sportsmanship.’

In Raby’s hunting career he has killed hundreds of animals across North America, Africa, Europe and Russia. 

On his Instagram page, which he has made private, he posted pictures of his hunting trips including shots of a dead wolverine and Raby hugging a dead leopard.

The elephant was his last conquest in the African ‘Big Five’ quest after he already killed a lion, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo and leopard.

But Raby argues what he’s doing isn’t wrong.

He says he’s not hunting for the kill but for the overall adventure of living outdoors, tracking an animal and immersing himself in the wild.

‘We pay a lot of money to hunt these animals. If we didn’t hunt, that land would be converted into cattle ranches and there’d be poaching. They don’t want lions killing their cattle or elephants destroying their crops,’ he said.

He argued that lions regularly kill agricultural and pastoral animals and elephants are known to destroy homes and crops.

‘We’re not all bloodthirsty, psycho machines that people make us out to be,’ he said. 

‘I promise you, I can read an animal better than someone who is against hunting. They say they like animals, but they don’t know anything about them.’

A view of Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, above. It's bordered by a hunting ground that has no fencing to distinguish between the two territories

A view of Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, above. It's bordered by a hunting ground that has no fencing to distinguish between the two territories

A view of Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, above. It’s bordered by a hunting ground that has no fencing to distinguish between the two territories 

Raby says he’ll leave California if the new legislation gets passed. 

Some hunting organizations argue that there are successful trophy-hunting conservation preserves such as in Namibia and Zimbabwe where the proceeds from international hunting trips are used to conserve wildlife habitats and employ people from the local communities.

However, Craig Packer, a biology professor and director of the University of Minnesota’s lion research center, says money for hunting expeditions don’t come close to the funds needed to conserve biodiversity and manage a habitat. A lion hunt can range from $20,000 to $70,000.

Corruption also makes it hard to trace the money and how hunts are regulated.

‘Many of these hunting preserves are fly-by-night operations. Business owners swoop in, sell big takes, and leave. They aren’t in it for the long term,’ he said.

Adrian Treves, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Carnivore Coexistence Laboratory, says there’s no evidence supporting the idea that hunting promotes biodiversity, habit conservation, or local employment.

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Australian chemical weapons expert and British colleague die in explosion in the Solomon Islands 

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australian chemical weapons expert and british colleague die in explosion in the solomon islands

An Australian chemical weapons expert and his British colleague who were working to identify unexploded World War II bombs in the Solomon Islands have been killed in a blast.

Australian Trent Lee and Briton Luke Atkinson, 57, died in a rented apartment in Honiora, the nation’s capital, between 7.30pm and 8pm on Sunday, their aid agency confirmed.

Mr Lee, believed to be in his 40s, was a bomb specialist working for Non-Government Organisation Norwegian Peoples Aid.

The men had been performing sweeps for World War II explosives when the blast occurred. 

An Australian chemical weapons expert and his British colleague who were working to identify unexploded World War II bombs in the Solomon Islands have been killed in a blast

An Australian chemical weapons expert and his British colleague who were working to identify unexploded World War II bombs in the Solomon Islands have been killed in a blast

An Australian chemical weapons expert and his British colleague who were working to identify unexploded World War II bombs in the Solomon Islands have been killed in a blast

Following the blast, residents rushed to the scene to find the men seriously injured, the Solomons Star newspaper reported. 

They were taken to Honiara’s National Referral Hospital. One of the men died at the scene while the other was confirmed dead at the hospital.

Mr Lee took to Facebook to talk about how dangerous the live bombs are, just a month before he was killed in an explosion.

‘Pretty much the most dangerous WW2 ammunition we find…it’s cocked and ready to fire…one bump and it’s all over,’ he wrote on August 13. 

Solomons police have sealed off the blast area and launched an investigation.

A police statement said officers of the police force’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team and Forensics Department were at the scene.

The two men were conducting a non-technical survey on the contamination of unexploded ordnances in the Solomons, the police media statement said. 

Australian Trent Lee and Briton Luke Atkinson, 57, died in a rented apartment in Honiora, the nation's capital, between 7.30pm and 8pm on Sunday night

Australian Trent Lee and Briton Luke Atkinson, 57, died in a rented apartment in Honiora, the nation's capital, between 7.30pm and 8pm on Sunday night

Australian Trent Lee and Briton Luke Atkinson, 57, died in a rented apartment in Honiora, the nation’s capital, between 7.30pm and 8pm on Sunday night

The US State Department funds the project, which works to remove undetonated explosives all over the world.

The Solomon Islands are littered with unexploded material from World War II, according to NPA. 

NPA deputy secretary-general Per Nergaard confirmed in a statement that Mr Lee and Mr Atkinson had died in the blast.

‘This is a tragic accident. So far, we know that there has been an explosion with fatal consequences,’ he said.

Trent Lee posts about how dangerous the live bombs are, a month before he was killed in an explosion

Trent Lee posts about how dangerous the live bombs are, a month before he was killed in an explosion

Trent Lee posts about how dangerous the live bombs are, a month before he was killed in an explosion

The Solomon Islands (pictured) are littered with unexploded material from World War II, according to NPA

The Solomon Islands (pictured) are littered with unexploded material from World War II, according to NPA

The Solomon Islands (pictured) are littered with unexploded material from World War II, according to NPA

‘Our main priority now is to offer assistance to relatives and colleagues and to clarify what has happened.’

‘The safety and security of our staff is our highest priority.’

NPA secretary-general Henriette Killi Westhrin said the organisation was devastated by the loss of two good colleagues.

‘Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to their families, relatives and staff.’

The NPA has 1850 deminers working in 19 countries worldwide.

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White bar owner kills himself on the day he was meant to turn himself in for killing a BLM protester

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white bar owner kills himself on the day he was meant to turn himself in for killing a blm protester

A white Nebraska bar owner charged with manslaughter over the shooting of a black man during a chaotic night of George Floyd protests in May has been found dead from suicide.  

Jake Gardner, an ex-Marine, was indicted by a grand jury for fatally shooting 22-year-old James Scurlock in Omaha on May 30.

On Friday, a judge signed paperwork to issue an arrest warrant for Gardner. 

He was supposed to turn himself in on Sunday – the day he was found dead near Portland, Oregon.

Bar owner Jake Gardner

Bar owner Jake Gardner

James Scurlock

James Scurlock

Jake Gardner (left), an ex-Marine, was indicted by a grand jury for fatally shooting 22-year-old James Scurlock (right) in Omaha back on May 30

Gardner shot himself after authorities in Hillsboro, Oregon, received a call of a suicidal party, two law enforcement sources told the Omaha World-Herald

The death happened this weekend, though Hillsboro police would not confirm the death or the time it happened.

Stu Dornan, Gardner’s attorney, confirmed his suicide, saying that his client – who he said had a traumatic brain injury and PTSD from his military days – would have been proved innocent. 

‘This is a sad day,’ said Dornan on Sunday evening. ‘It did not have to happen.’

Dornan said it was time to end ‘trial by media’, and said it was ‘a clear case of self defense’.

He added: ‘He was deathly afraid of coming back here, because he did not feel he could get a fair trial. And who would blame him?’ 

Dornan said: ‘I’m a fan of the constitution. I’m a fan of self defense. I am angry at the rush to judgement, and at not having the opportunity to defend a man who had acted in self defense three times, and was found to have acted in self defense.

‘Yes, I am angry he didn’t have his opportunity for a fair trial, and a fair hearing.’  

Gardner had been in northern California during the wildfires, and needed to be evacuated with other people.

Dornan said they were trying to arrange his reporting to Omaha authorities in the safest way possible.  

‘When you throw in COVID, with respect to that danger and risk, and that law enforcement itself – it is always much easier to have someone turn themselves in.

‘This had exceptional circumstances.

‘This doesn’t take away from the death of Mr Scurlock. This is a terrible tragedy, for everyone involved.’ 

Scurlock, 22, died in the confrontation on May 30 during George Floyd protests in Omaha

Scurlock, 22, died in the confrontation on May 30 during George Floyd protests in Omaha

Scurlock, 22, died in the confrontation on May 30 during George Floyd protests in Omaha

Surveillance video showed Gardner in a confrontation with BLM protesters outside his bar prior to the shooting. Gardner was shoved to the ground by two people before he fired two shots. Scurlock then jumped on Gardner's back and Gardner shot him

Surveillance video showed Gardner in a confrontation with BLM protesters outside his bar prior to the shooting. Gardner was shoved to the ground by two people before he fired two shots. Scurlock then jumped on Gardner's back and Gardner shot him

Surveillance video showed Gardner in a confrontation with BLM protesters outside his bar prior to the shooting. Gardner was shoved to the ground by two people before he fired two shots. Scurlock then jumped on Gardner’s back and Gardner shot him

Dornan’s partner, Tom Monaghan, said that Gardner had already been found guilty by the town of Omaha.

‘We need to stop the violence. What happened in Minnesota should not have caused a riot in Omaha,’ he said.

‘A peaceful demonstration did not need to lead to violence and damage to property. But it did.’

Monaghan said they believed they could have proved Gardner was not guilty.

‘Jake was worried that he was going to get shot on the way here; that some of those folks who gave him death threats on his phone would carry through with them. He felt the threats were probably not credible, but you never know. I didn’t think they were credible enough to need to see him.  

‘He became particularly worried when it was announced there was an arrest warrant. I can guarantee, there was not.’ 

Monaghan said that instead of an arrest warrant there was ‘an agreement to self-report’. 

Gardner did not leave a suicide note. 

Gardner, 38, was also facing charges of attempted first-degree assault, threats and using a weapon while committing a felony. 

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially declined to file charges against Gardner, saying he had reviewed witness statements and video and believed the bar owner acted in self-defense. 

Kleine, who was slammed for overlooking Gardner’s alleged racist history, asked the grand jury to review the case after he was heavily criticized. 

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially declined to file charges against Gardner, saying the shooting was in self-defense

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially declined to file charges against Gardner, saying the shooting was in self-defense

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially declined to file charges against Gardner, saying the shooting was in self-defense

Special Prosecutor Frederick Franklin said the grand jury reviewed additional evidence that Kleine didn’t have, including texts from Gardner’s phone, messages on his Facebook profile and his interactions with bystanders before coming into contact with Spurlock. 

He declined to provide specifics of what the new evidence shows except to say it undermines the self-defense theory. 

‘There was significant evidence that was consistent with there being an intentional killing by Jake Gardner and that evidence comes primarily from him,’ Franklin said. 

The shooting happened outside Gardner’s bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd. 

Authorities have said Gardner shot Scurlock outside his downtown bar as he sought to ward off any theft or property damage.

Kleine later showed reporters some surveillance video that seemed to show Gardner, his father and protesters exchanging words before Gardner, flashing a gun, backed away. 

Gardner was shoved to the ground by two people before he fired two shots, sending people scrambling. Scurlock then jumped on Gardner’s back and Gardner shot him. 

Scurlock (above) was fatally shot outside Gardner's bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd

Scurlock (above) was fatally shot outside Gardner's bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd

Scurlock (above) was fatally shot outside Gardner's bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd

Scurlock (above) was fatally shot outside Gardner's bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd

Scurlock (above) was fatally shot outside Gardner’s bar as protests and civil unrest unfolded in Omaha and across the US in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd

While there was no audio with the video, Kleine said Gardner warned Scurlock to get off of him several times before he fired the fatal shot.

Critics of the initial investigation said Scurlock was trying to stop Gardner from hurting anyone.

Some witnesses initially said that Gardner had allegedly ‘taunted’ protesters and went out to the sidewalk yelling ‘n****r lover’. 

Scurlock’s death sparked protests across Omaha in the days after prosecutors initially declined to file charges.  

Just hours before the deadly clash, Gardner posted a status update on Facebook about protecting his business amid the unrest

Just hours before the deadly clash, Gardner posted a status update on Facebook about protecting his business amid the unrest

Just hours before the deadly clash, Gardner posted a status update on Facebook about protecting his business amid the unrest

Scurlock's death sparked protests across Omaha in the days after prosecutors initially declined to file charges

Scurlock's death sparked protests across Omaha in the days after prosecutors initially declined to file charges

Scurlock’s death sparked protests across Omaha in the days after prosecutors initially declined to file charges

In the wake of the shooting, prosecutors were accused of turning a blind eye to the Gardner’s alleged racist views and background.  

Court documents have shown that he has a past criminal record stretching back to the late 1990s, which includes multiple weapons-related charges, as well as arrests on counts of assault and battery.

In 2016, Gardner, who reportedly self-identifies as a Libertarian, sparked a controversy when he posted on Facebook that transgender women should not use the women’s bathroom at his establishment, unless they have had their ‘appendage’ removed and their identification legally changed.

Just hours before the deadly clash, Gardner posted a status update on Facebook about protecting his business amid the unrest.

‘Just when you think, ‘what else could 2020 throw at me?’ Then you have to pull 48 hours of military style firewatch,’ Gardner wrote.

He was a retired Marine who served tours of duty in Iraq and Haiti between 2000-2004.  

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Climate activist bring peak hour traffic in Brisbane to a standstill by deliberately cycling slow

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climate activist bring peak hour traffic in brisbane to a standstill by deliberately cycling slow

Climate change activists have brought Brisbane‘s peak hour traffic to a crawl by cycling as slow as possible on a major road.    

Up to 45 demonstrators from Extinction Rebellion are riding bicycles through the city in a slow-moving blockade on Monday. 

Kicking off at Kurilpa Park, South Brisbane, at 7.30am the two-hour-long protest is part of a push for Australia to sign on to a binding target of zero net carbon emissions by 2025, overseen by a citizen’s assembly.

Extinction Rebellion activists have brought traffic to a crawl in Brisbane by deliberately cycling slow to protest against Australia's climate change policies

Extinction Rebellion activists have brought traffic to a crawl in Brisbane by deliberately cycling slow to protest against Australia's climate change policies

Extinction Rebellion activists have brought traffic to a crawl in Brisbane by deliberately cycling slow to protest against Australia’s climate change policies

‘We will be riding as slowly as possible to disrupt peak hour traffic to bring attention to the climate and ecological crisis,’ organisers said in a Facebook post.

‘We are headed for complete annihilation. The amount of warming we are on track for, will literally mean the death of billions of people.’ 

‘Scientists say that at 4 or 5 degrees of warming, the earth could sustain a billion people. Our governments could push us to 7 degrees of warming.’

Rally organisers have told demonstrators to be COVID-19 safe by travelling in small groups of 10, social distancing and donning masks as they cycle towards King George Square. 

Organisers listed ‘legal tips’ in a Facebook post advising attendees not to communicate with police. 

‘There will be police liaisons at this protest, they will communicate between the police and activists,’ the post read.

A protester (pictured) wearing a mask live streamed the demonstration over Facebook

A protester (pictured) wearing a mask live streamed the demonstration over Facebook

A protester (pictured) wearing a mask live streamed the demonstration over Facebook 

‘If the police approach you please direct them to the designated police liaisons.’

‘In the past they have not arrested anybody for cycling slowly at similar events …’

Protesters live streamed the disruptive ride over Facebook, with footage showing them chanting ‘climate justice’ and blasting anthems, such as John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’. 

The group are known for conducting high profile stunts for the sake of their cause.  

Earlier this month, the activism group dumped manure outside News Corp offices around the city to protest against their coverage of climate change. 

During a demonstration last year, an activist in Brisbane hung from Story Bridge while other demonstrators glued themselves to the ground. 

Members of the group spoke at Kurilpa Park, in South Brisbane, before the protest kicked off at 7.30am

Members of the group spoke at Kurilpa Park, in South Brisbane, before the protest kicked off at 7.30am

Members of the group spoke at Kurilpa Park, in South Brisbane, before the protest kicked off at 7.30am

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