by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals.
Photo: gudi&cris

Turns out the only thing Bob Parsons, CEO of Godaddy.com, has in common with PETA is making headlines by using scantily clad women in Super Bowl commercials.

The head of the mega internet hosting company shot and killed an elephant on his recent trip to Zimbabwe. He claims the elephants were terrorizing a local village and therefore had to be killed. Parsons was so proud of himself, he even made a video and posted it to his blog. It includes a picture of him with the corpse of the elephant and everything.

PETA wasted no time in firing off a letter. They wrote:

“I am writing to present you with PETA’s first-ever scummiest CEO of the year award (your certificate is on the way). You deserve the award for your egregious disregard for the life of the elephant you shot and killed for your personal enjoyment. Such behavior only shows a poverty of understanding and a deep insecurity, perhaps in your own masculinity. Nonlethal methods are available to protect crops from elephants left hungry because of their disappearing habitat.”

Parsons defended his actions with the following statement:

“I stand by my decision to help African villagers. I believe elephant management is beneficial. I have the support of the people who really matter in this situation, the families of Zimbabwe— people who need help to survive. I have the support of tribal leaders and the government.”

While it’s true that elephants can pose as a nuisance and a threat to farmers and towns, there are certainly other ways to deal with the problem than allowing a rich guy with a gun to get his blood thirsty trophy kill. Animal organizations like World Wildlife Fund list many ways to resolve the conflict peaceably.

Dr. Grey Stafford, the Director of Conservation at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Ariz., said:

“As for hunting an endangered species, just because something is deemed legal to do, it doesn’t mean it is the wisest thing to do. Perhaps those with financial means can fund greater security protection of wildlife parks that are woefully underfunded or pay to relocate troublesome animals away from rural communities. They might even get to fire at an animal using a dart gun but without the lethal consequences. Everybody wins.”

If you look on twitter, people are vowing to jump ship and remove their hosting and domain services from godaddy.com. Do you have a website? Is this enough to make you switch to another hosting company? You could save some cash. This company is even donating a dollar to Save the Elephants for every transfer from Godaddy!


About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hart-Noecker/100001623066825 Hart Noecker

    The same argument can easily be made about dickface CEOs who are a pest to the working man. Time to thin the millionaire herd a bit?

    • jimm

      Here, here!

  • Dennis

    So what had PITA done to help this elephant and the locals in the past?

    • georgina

      PITA? Hmmm, getting hungry now. PITA bread and hummus sounds pretty good to me.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Brobst/100001790628524 Bill Brobst

    Everyone who is outraged can go here and sign a PETITIONING!

  • http://www.smallestsmallholding.com Lucy D

    It’s not about the fact that it affects elephant populations, it’s about the reason WHY the elephants were hungry in the first place and trampling crops, the blatant disregard for life and the whole concept of killing for sport. Go Daddy will never EVER get my business. Thank goodness for Namecheap, they’re taking a stand against this kind of behaviour.

  • crumpets are yummy

    Well it looks like I wont be donating anything to Zimbabwe this year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Weyn/540786634 Caroline Weyn

    There is a link between starvation and poaching bushmeat. If Bob thinks that killing a male bull elephant will solve both starvation and crop raiding, he’s badly ill-informed and deluded.
    Female elephants can get impregnated by other surviving male bull elephants – so population control is not happening.
    Elephants will continue to raid crops – they will either return to the same farmlands but with more aggression (they never forget and they don’t forgive being attacked and killed – just look at stories of “vengeful” elephants destroying villages in India) or they will go raiding crops elsewhere thus crop raiding is not solved either.
    Feeding farmers for a day is not solving their hunger problems either. he says they need protein – fine, how about feeding them plant-based proteins instead of hunting and killing an endangered species – our demand for meat is precisely what’s destroying the environment and threatening all animals in Africa (starvation = illegal bushmeat trade, ivory poaching, etc).
    It costs $12,000 dollars to hunt and kill an elephant in Zimbabwe, who did Bob give that money to? The starving farmers? Ha, yeah right. So much for charitable acts – the truth is Bob wanted to hunt and kill an elephant for the thrill of it and is passing it off as helping Zimbabwe. Bob is a sleazebag. I’m cancelling my godaddy account.

    • Cristina

      No one else could have said this better. I think people need to research the story a little more before they open their mouths. And just to add to this… there are non-profits who have found humane ways to take care of this problem and deter the elephants away from the crops… they just need funding for the project. Looks like the CEO had enough of his funds go towards the thrill of a hunt for fun.. many do not know that he also killed a leopard for fun as well… those darn carnivores must be eating those crops too. With his “argument” he should posses a little bit of compassion, right? So why not put his hunt money towards the non-profits non-lethal solutions? .. Because he’s full of sh!t, that’s why. My 3 domains have been transferred.

  • sujaraam

    I’m totally repulsed by Bob Parson killing the elephant. I am transferring my domains from Godaddy to BigRock.com. I’m using the coupon JUMBOSAVE, it makes the cost $4.95 and its valid till 7th April

  • georgina

    Maybe Parson will run for president of Zimbabwe and promise to decimate whatever wildlife has not been poached. That will save their crops.

    Poor decision on his part because i bet anything that the Zimbabwe people did not go looking for him to take care of the elephant “problem,” and now he looks like a total ass.

    Bottom line is, killing the bull did not solve any problems for anyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Puffin-Modise/100000964996563 Puffin Modise

    Hey sleazebag! Can you stop saying “African villagers”, is it hard to just say Zimbabwe villagers. We busy fighting here in Africa, Libya.

  • Stacey Cunningham

    what a complete a-hole!! elephants are majestic creatures and should not be killed for sport! i hope people think again before using his services from now on. i will never use godaddy again! Im sorry but I cant support this type of behavior. lets send a message loud and clear! if you have sites with godaddy move them to a different provider! I moved my sites today to ferngullygraphics for hosting at http://www.ferngullygraphics.com

  • http://www.rawvegantalk.com veronica grace

    Our companies use namecheap already as our service provider. Thank goodness.

    What a horrible, horrible excuse he gives as to his actions. Really if he was helping them and not getting off on shooting an animal, wouldn’t he have donated some money or let a local kill it? Instead he feels like the superhero for shooting an innocent hungry elephant who’s habitat has been destroyed.

    Want to help the local villagers? Put up some fencing, some bamboo, relocate the elephant, set up some resources for the villagers to flourish and improve their water and food conditions.

    Killing one elephant to let them grab slabs off of, is not helping them in the long run and I hope he’s happy losing millions and millions because of his distasteful actions. Let the locals pay his bills then if their opinion is the only one that really matters.

  • Barb

    I was going to use Godaddy for a website but now Ill go elsewhere. It’s obvious that he was trying to cover his ass by coming up with an excuse for his actions. Like the people who live near where this happened haven’t seen this before. Just another pathetic human, who in his own mind, feels he has the right to extinguish another life and escape the blow because of his wealth. Lets see him take on a bull elephant with a spear! Yeah I didn’t think so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sami-Fitzpatrick/100001400913907 Sami Fitzpatrick

    Sickening. have we not been through this argument enough with our own wild mustangs? management of animal populations should be left to trained professionals who have no stake other than proper management of natural resources. not to people who profit by the deaths, either in money or in “glory”. and that includes the ivory poachers, bushmeat sellers, stockmen, farmers, and thrill seeking millionaires

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Wicks/574128841 Dave Wicks

    It costs 12 grand to kill an elephant, does this guy think were supposed to believe he went there to “help” the villagers? Its obvious he went there to kill an elephant for his own personal enjoyment, and that 12 grand doesn’t even go to benefit the villagers, it lines the greedy pockets of another rich bloodthirsty man.


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O-wVRsuIeA Lacey

    I’m against go daddy on this. He’s a trophy hunter and proud of it.

    I’ve already moved all of my hosting. I know of a lot of companies that charge equally and do no kill animals for pleasure.

  • Davi

    I pray that Bob reforms before divine justice rains down.

  • http://www.leavedaddy.net Ady Gil

    Boycott godaddy.com
    Do not give money to people that do that kind of things. I will be removing my domains and website hosting from this company. Goodby Daddy…

  • http://www.aRareBreedofLove.com Jana Kohl

    Well said: ‘Kill an elephant-lose a customer.’ I’ll be cancelling my GoDaddy accounts. What a disgusting thing to do – what a loser Bob Parsons is, both as a person and as a businessman as he hopefully loses a whole bunch of customers.

  • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

    according to Joyce Poole, director of research and conservation at Elephant Voices, the urm urm “problem bull” was more likely a young female elephant.


    oops, seems like Bob “a.k.a Scumbag” Parson is full of bull ..