ALPHARETTA, GA — A Georgia businessman is under fire after photos of himself with a rifle and two dead elephants were posted online. Mike Jines, a partner of Alpharetta’s TopGen Energy, claims he was in Zimbabwe on a hunt when two fully grown female elephants began to charge him.
The photos from the October 2018 hunt spread across the internet, sparking a wave of insults and, he says, threats.
Jines says he acted within the laws of Zimbabwe and the United States. “The two elephant [sic] that are shown in the photos were shot in self-defense, in an unprovoked charge and both elephants were fully mature cows, not juveniles,” he told CBS46 in an email, according to the outlet.
Jines has not yet responded to Patch’s request for comment.
After shooting the second elephant, Jines said in an online forum, “she crashed to the ground with her hind legs out behind her, indicating the speed and determination of her charge.”
In the photos, however, one elephant is on her side and the other is shown essentially kneeling. That prompted critics to question his account of the hunt.
“He says he killed them self-defense. That begs the question: why did you take photos with their bodies like they were trophies?” tweeted Yashar Ali of New York Magazine.
Jines’ LinkedIn page is inactive, and the TopGen Energy website is “under construction.” The photos of the hunt, which were posted on Accurate Reloading, an African hunting report forum, have been deleted.
See Jines’ description of the incident, posted on the forum, as reported on CBS46:
The hunt started with a bang . . . literally. Less than thirty minutes into the first morning of the first day we experienced a double elephant cow charge. …We saw a group of cows from the road and decided to follow them to see if a tuskless was in the group. We caught them quickly and identified a tuskless. We positioned ourselves to get a good look at the tuskless and concluded that since it was just Day 1 we would pass. An instant later she came in an all out charge. Buzz and I both fired two shots a piece and she went down. Then from behind us a large one-tusked cow charged at full speed. We each fired one shot and she crashed to the ground with her hind legs out behind her, indicating the speed and determination of her charge. The two cows were less than forty feet apart with Buzz and I in the middle. Fortunately we had positioned ourselves in some open ground so we had good visibility when the charges came. Certainly a little more excitement than we had bargained for on Day 1.
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