An Australian businessman is in hot water with animal rights activists after he was pictured posing with a dressed-up dead baboon on an African hunting trip.
The pictures circling social media feature Nick Haridemos, the president of the Hellenic Club in Canberra, next to a number of animals he had killed on safari, the Canberra Times reported.
The images, believed to have been taken between 2010 and 2016, were posted on an online forum where hunters discuss their kills and Photobucket, before surfacing on Twitter.
The Photobucket account, nickha1, uploaded photos showing Mr Haridemos next to dead elephants, hyenas, water buffalos and warthogs, as well as posing with ivory.
“It is truly the place to hunt the biggest ivory in Africa, especially with Botswana now closed,” the user captioned a photo next to a slain elephant.
Among the images posted, Mr Haridemos is seen next to a dead baboon wearing sunglasses and a hat posed behind the wheel of a Jeep.
“Absolutely funny as hell!” the user wrote accompanying the post.
“The new driver gig was a blast… We did a video clip with Blake wired into the microphone talking and we actually drove off!”
Animal rights group PETA scolded the Australian property developer’s choice to shoot, kill and post photos of these “magnificent” animals.
“No one is more reviled than a small man trying to look big by using one finger to pull a trigger and kill a magnificent animal who was minding his or her own business,” PETA Australia spokeswoman Emma Hurst told The New Daily.
“Hunters need psychiatric help to deal with their inadequacies, their inability to empathise with living beings who can experience pain and probably have more capacity to feel than they do, and their lack of dignity.
“With boundless opportunities for amusement, it speaks volumes that such people get a thrill from gunning down, and turning into objects of ridicule, other individuals who ask for nothing out of life but the chance to live it.”
Mr Haridemos did not deny posting the photos. His lawyer said all the hunting safaris were legal.
“This is a regulated activity, which is undertaken in accordance with licences and quotas issued by the relevant country, and is conducted in a manner that does not pose a threat to any endangered species,” his solicitor told The Canberra Times.