GoDaddy CEO Defends Elephant Killing

    March 31, 2011
    Chris Crum

Previously, we reported on the backlash GoDaddy has been facing, following the posting of a video by CEO Bob Parsons of Parsons killing an elephant.

PETA has been very vocal about it, naturally, but so have many others who aren’t necessarily part of any animal rights groups. Lots of people have been talking about pulling their sites from GoDaddy.

Parsons defended himself in a Mashable interview, and is apparently making the rounds.

Over 10 nat’l interviews today. Will be on news tonight. Love explaining why it’s a good thing to help starving people. 3 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Here’s an exerpt from the interview:

“In Zimbabwe, the people there are incredibly impoverished,” said Parsons. “They treasure an empty plastic water bottle. It’s heart-wrenching to watch … These people are all subsistence farmers, and if they don’t have a good harvest, they starve. That’s it — there’s no support, there’s no welfare, and if they starve, they will die.”

To keep elephants from trampling crops, villagers try building fires, banging drums, cracking whips and even building fences. But the light and noise are ignored, and the fences, Parson says, just get trampled. Electric fences, this deep into the African bush, aren’t a realistic solution. Parsons says he hoped to solve the crop-trampling problem for these villagers in a different way.

While some have pointed to the diminishing population of elephants, Parsons said, “Taking a bull has little or no impact on the social structure or herd size.”

Here is what PETA had previously said about it:

It has been well established that elephants are capable of experiencing emotions, including joy, anger, grief, and sympathy. They play with each other and can reason and use tools; they have exceptional memories and form enduring bonds with other elephants. They work together and comfort and protect each other. Elephant offspring stay with their mothers for many years—males for up to 15 years and females for their entire lives. Killing a single elephant can devastate a family, and their mourning ritual over the death of a family member rivals any that we humans have developed.

Parsons is hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants helps farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants from crops, including using chili-infused string and beehives on poles to create low-cost “fences.” Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts.

Parsons’ latest tweets have just been slams at PETA:

PETA awards me “The Scummiest CEO of the Year Award!” Here’s why that doesn’t bother me at all 2 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

If you were a dog or a cat, where is the last place you’d want to be? Answer: a PETA shelter. 2 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Parsons must have known the video, and the manner in which the whole incident was portrayed (accompanied by an AC/DC soundtrack) would grab people’s attention, and for many, not in a positive way. GoDaddy is no stranger to controversy – see Super Bowl commercials – but this is in a whole other ballpark.

Parsons did get everybody talking about GoDaddy. That’s for sure. Many are talking about the GoDaddy hats the villagers are wearing in the video as they slaughter the elephant.

Still no actual news relsease from the company.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.