GoDaddy.com CEO faces backlash for elephant shooting

There’s a movement to boycott the domain-name hosting company GoDaddy.com, after CEO Bob Parsons posted a video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe.

On March 14, Parsons linked to a (graphic) video from his vacation in Zimbabwe, where he participated in a hunt for what he called a ”problem elephant.”

The video went viral today as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a boycott campaign against GoDaddy.com. Animal rights groups took objection to the hunting in the video, and others have objected to the following scene, where villagers butcher the elephant. Many of the villagers butchering the elephant are wearing GoDaddy.com baseball hats.

Just back from hunting problem elephant in Zimbabwe. Here’s my vacation video. Enjoy. http://x.co/TxZ5less than a minute ago via webBob Parsons
DrBobParsons

Human-elephant conflicts are a real problem, as Time’s Bryan Walsh pointed out, as both humans and elephants compete for space. But there are other, non-lethal, solutions to the problem, Walsh wrote, citing information from the World Wildlife Fund.

Parsons stood by his actions and said that the hunts feed the starving villagers in the area.

“These people have literally nothing and when an elephant is killed it's a big event for them, they are going to be able to eat some protein. This is no different than you or I eating beef,” he wrote in comments to his video blog.

Competing domain-name providers are offering promotions encouraging people to leave GoDaddy.com with coupon names like BYEBYEGD or GDKILLER. NameCheap is also offering to donate a dollar to Save the Elephants for every domain name that switches from GoDaddy.com

What do you think about the controversy? Should users boycott GoDaddy.com for the actions of its CEO?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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