Fact Check: Pic Supposedly Shows Donald Trump Jr. Holding Severed Elephant's Tail. Here's What's Going On

X account @creepydotorg
X account @creepydotorg
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A photo circulating online in May 2024 authentically showed Donald Trump Jr. holding a severed elephant's tail.


Rating: True
Rating: True

On May 15, 2024, the X account @creepydotorg posted a photo allegedly showing Donald Trump Jr. posing with an elephant's tail in his hand. The caption read: "Donald Trump Jr. holding the tail of an elephant he just cut off."

The post had amassed more than 520,000 views at the time of this writing. Similar posts appeared on Reddit and X with the same claim.

Multiple X users questioned the veracity of the image, asking whether it was real or the product of digital software.

Snopes found multiple articles featuring the photo, as well as two posts on X authored by Trump Jr. responding to criticism of such images. The in-question photo was purportedly taken during an African hunting trip in 2010 or 2011 (sources vary on when the trip occurred), though its photographer was unknown. That said, Snopes found no signs of digital manipulation and had no reason to doubt its authenticity. We have rated this claim "True."

The New York City blog Gothamist and British newspapers The Daily Mail and The Independent included the picture in articles published in mid-March 2012. Those outlets said the photograph was among a series that emerged online after Trump Jr. went on the hunting trip with his brother, Eric Trump.

All three outlets reported they got the images from a website called "Hunting Legends" — a company that, at the time, hosted personalized big-game hunting trips across Africa for clients in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.

Hunting Legends' website was not live at the time of this writing, so we were unable to confirm its alleged role as the image's original source. We could not find an archived webpage containing the picture. However, articles published on the site in 2010 and on Aug. 2, 2013 (archived on Nov. 8, 2016), discussed the Trump brothers taking at least two hunting trips with Hunting Legends.

In addition to the in-question photo, The Daily Mail and Gothamist published numerous other pictures of the Trump brothers hunting on the same trip.

Those same photographs appeared in a YouTube video uploaded weeks earlier, on Feb. 18, 2012. It was unclear from where, or what source, the creator of that video pulled the images.

On March 12, 2012, Donald Trump Jr. responded to backlash over the collection of photos by writing on X (Twitter at the time):

"Not a PR move I didn't give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game."

He claimed in another post the animals did not go to waste and unknown "villagers" ate the meat.

Snopes found numerous posts by X users about the images in March 2012, including at least one post that supported the hunting.

Years later, the photos regained attention. Snopes addressed some in an article published on Dec. 21, 2015, and other media outlets featured them in articles published in July 2016 and November 2017.


'Https://Twitter.Com/Craighallett/Status/180628364523077632'. X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/craighallett/status/180628364523077632. Accessed 15 May 2024.

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Hunting in Africa with Hunting Legends - Africa's Foremost Outfitters. 16 Mar. 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20120316030032/https://www.huntinglegends.com/.

Keneally, Meghan. '"I Have No Shame... I HUNT & EAT Game": Donald Trump's Sons Pictured Posing with Their "trophy" Carcasses on Big African Hunt'. Mail Online, 12 Mar. 2012, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2114122/Donald-Eric-Trump-pictured-posing-trophy-carcasses-big-African-hunt.html.

LaCapria, Kim. 'Donald Trump's Sons in Game-Hunting Photos?' Snopes, 22 Dec. 2015, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/donald-trumps-son-game-hunting-photos/.

Manger, Warren. 'Shocking Film Exposes Bloodlust of Trophy Hunters Who Kill Rare Animals for Fun'. The Mirror, 16 Nov. 2017, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/big-game-killing-field-sickening-11534618.

Mar 13, John Del SignorePublished, et al. 'Photos: Donald Trump's Sons Awesome At Killing Elephants And Other Wildlife'. Gothamist, 13 Mar. 2012, https://gothamist.com/news/photos-donald-trumps-sons-awesome-at-killing-elephants-and-other-wildlife.

McPhee, Rod. 'Donald Trump's Son's Bloodlust Row Reignited by Furious Sharon Osbourne'. The Mirror, 22 July 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/donald-trumps-sons-bloodlust-row-8475849.

Morgan, Piers. 'PIERS MORGAN: Trump and Mugabe BOTH Believe in Elephant Trophy Hunting'. Mail Online, 16 Nov. 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/~/article-5089561/index.html.

Taylor, Jerome. 'Donald Trump's Sons in Line of Fire over African Hunting Trip | The Independent'. The Independent, 14 Mar. 2012. www.independent.co.uk, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-s-sons-in-line-of-fire-over-african-hunting-trip-7565738.html.

The Trumps Hunt Africa | Hunting Legends International. 31 Dec. 2010, https://web.archive.org/web/20101231031217/http://www.huntinglegends.com:80/the-trumps-hunt-africa/.

Trophycruelty. The Trump Family Kill an Elephant, Leopard and Many More Animals in Sick African Killing Vacation. 2012. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osgAJOApXt0.

TRUMP BROTHERS HUNT – LEGAL - Hunting Legends. 8 Nov. 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20161108062603/https://huntinglegends.co.za/trump-brothers-hunt-legal.