(CBS News) — An Idaho Fish and Game official has come under fire after emailing friends and co-workers photos of a family of baboons and other animals he shot and killed on a hunting trip in Africa. A group of former commissioners is now calling for Blake Fisher to resign, CBS Boise affiliate KBOI reports.
Fischer emailed photos of himself posing with a dead baboon family – including a baby – as well as a giraffe, a leopard, and other animals he killed on a recent trip to Namibia. Fischer went on a two-week trip to the African country with his wife. “First day she wanted to watch me, and ‘get a feel’ of Africa,” Fischer said in the email. “So I shot a whole family of baboons.”
Fischer’s emails, obtained by KBOI through Governor Butch Otter’s office, include photos of a giraffe, leopard, impala, antelope and waterbuck Fischer killed. Fischer described his kills in emails that went to about 125 people. “I shot a Leopard,” he wrote. “Super cool, super lucky. The Leopard is one of the big 5, as in one of the 5 animals in Africa that will kill you before you can kill it. Crazy cool animal. They are normally super nocturnal, so this was really unique.”
The photos received swift backlash and were reported to the governor’s office. “Governor Otter was briefed and has seen the pictures,” Jon Hanian, the governor’s spokesman, told KBOI. “He has expressed concern about them and we’re looking into the situation.”
The Idaho Statesman newspaper, which first reported the story Friday, obtained an email from former commissioner Fred Trevey urging Fischer to resign.
“My reaction to the photo and accompanying text of you smiling and holding a ‘family’ of primates you killed, dismays and disappoints me,” Trevey said, according to KBOI. “I have a difficult time understanding how a person privileged to be an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner can view such an action as sportsmanlike and an example to others.”
Former commissioner Tony McDermott also sent an email to the governor’s office, saying he and six other former commissioners agree with “Trevey’s approach to this potentially explosive issue,” according to the Statesman.
CBS News has reached out to Bill Fischer, Fred Trevey, and Idaho Fish and Game with a requests for interviews.
Steve Alder, executive director of Idaho For Wildlife, a pro-hunting group, told KBOI that Fischer’s hunts were despicable. “What bothers me is he’s got the family there and a little baby baboon sitting there with blood all over it, kind of like in the mother’s arms,” Alder said. “You just don’t do this. It’s just not something. We don’t want to put out to the public and many of us wouldn’t even do this in the first place.”