Rep. Jack Fields (R-Tex.) likes animals. He has the body parts of more than a dozen exotic African species scattered about his office and hanging on his walls. A ghoulish-looking wart hog's head with protruding white tusks hangs over the door to his inner sanctum.

Fields, a conservative from the Houston suburb of Humble and a member of the Houston Safari Club, took his guns to southern Africa in the summer of 1985. In remote areas of Zimbabwe, he bagged, among other species, a lion, a zebra, an elephant, a buffalo, a reedbuck, a kudu, an impala and, of course, the wart hog whose Styrofoam-crammed cranium now has the honor of guarding the congressman's door.

As a member of the House subcommittee on health and the environment, Fields is also deeply concerned about AIDS. He has warned his constituents about the dread disease, alerting them that, as he put it in one newsletter, "AIDS is a threat to the public at large," and not just "intravenous drug users and gay and bisexual men."

As it happens, Fields now wants to take another hunting trip to southern Africa, the continent on which the AIDS epidemic began and where it currently runs rampant. It is strictly a private trip for himself and a few friends, and it will be paid for with personal funds.

But it has occurred to Fields that hunters could have accidents requiring emergency treatment, including blood transfusions. So he contacted the State Department for help.

He would soon be traveling "with a delegation" to southern Africa, Fields wrote, and the party would be doing "some hunting . . . in fairly remote sections of Zimbabwe and Namibia." The congressman continued:

"Given the high incidence of AIDS in Africa and the potential for a hunter needing a blood transfusion, all of us in the delegation have been gravely concerned . . . . I understand there is a process for assisting Americans with a severe medical emergency.

"What I need from your office is a list of hospitals in Wankie, Bulawayo and Harare, all in Zimbabwe, and in Windhoek, Namibia. I would also require their exact locations, contact names and phone numbers for emergency use. It would also be helpful to know their hours of operation.

"Additionally, I understand our embassy in Zimbabwe, in cooperation with local military personnel, will provide a {military aircraft} for a medical emergency. I need to know precisely how to arrange this in advance . . . ."

Fields was reluctant to talk about his upcoming excursion. "I just did what any citizen could do," he said, "just found out what evacuation procedures were available if there's a bad accident." It is a "personal trip," he said. "My money, my business . . . . What I do on my time is really nobody's business."

Our reporter Michael Rosenfelt visited Fields' office and was allowed to view the hanging heads, but when he started taking notes, he was hustled out by a staffer.

State Department officials said they extended to the congressman the same "facilitative services" they provide for any citizen, nothing more.