- Twitter: Donald Jr. and Eric Trump
Donald Trump and his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, defended a series of controversial photos that were taken while on an African safari after animal rights group PETA slammed them as cruel.
The confronting photos show the Trump brothers proudly posing with guns alongside dead animals during their Hunting Legends trip last year in Zimbabwe.
"I'm a hunter, for that I make no apologies. I can assure you it was not wasteful the villagers were so happy for the meat which they don't often get to eat," Donald Trump, Jr. wrote on Twitter.
Donald Trump also spoke out about his sons' photos, brushing the hunting trip off as harmless hobby.
"My sons love hunting. They're hunters and they've become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it. I know that anything they did was 100 [percent] OK in terms of the hunting community," Donald Trump told TMZ.
The Trumps were forced to address the growing criticisms after Wildlife Extra posted the photos on Monday, although they have reportedly since been removed.
"If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father's footsteps and taking down competing businesses- not wild animals," a spokeswoman for PETA told the Daily News.
"Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires' grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal," the spokesman added.
In a recent statement the Trump brothers insisted that they do have "respect for nature," and that the meat that they hunted "was donated to local villagers," according to E! News.
"We are both avid outdoorsmen and were brought up hunting and fishing with our grandfather who taught us that nothing should ever be taken for granted or wasted. We have the utmost respect for nature ... all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful," they said in a joint statement to E! News.