Wildlife official resigns over photos of him with slain family of baboons


An Idaho Fish and Game Commission member is in hot water after sharing photos of himself posing with a family of baboons and other animals he killed while hunting in southern Africa last month.

Blake Fischer, a fish and game commissioner in Idaho, emailed his friends and colleagues pictures of more than a dozen animals that he had killed on a hunting trip to Namibia.

The grizzly photos show the Idaho man posing with an assortment of slain animals, including a giraffe, leopard, impala, sable antelope, waterbuck, kudu, warthog, gemsbok (oryx) and eland. Fischer and his wife killed 14 animals on their trophy hunting trip, including a leopard and giraffe, as well as the family of baboons.

Fischer was criticized by former commissioners for sending the photos to them and others in a September 17 email.

"First day she wanted to watch me, and "get a feel" of Africa", he wrote in the e-mail. "I didn't do anything immoral", Fischer told the newspaper.

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.

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"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.

Keith E. Carlson, another former commissioner who called for Fischer to resign, echoed a similar condemnation of the photo. "Accordingly, I have accepted his resignation from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission".

Idaho Governor CL "Butch" Otter has called on Mr Fischer to resign from his role within the commission.

"The photo of him and the baboons, a family, it's absolutely deplorable and totally contradicts everything that game management is about", retired Fish and Game Commissioner Gary Power told Reuters on Monday. Commissioner Fischer did not. "Commissioner Fischer did not", Otter said in a statement. I didn't do anything unethical.

Steve Alder of pro-hunting group Idaho for Wildlife told the Statesman he too hopes Fischer resigns. Those regulations are meant to require ethical behavior in the pursuit of wildlife. Fischer was re-appointed this year, but he needs Senate confirmation.

Fish and game commissioners are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, the department's website states.