Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer

Mongolian dignitaries made an Eastertime pilgrimage to see the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago. And whoosh…. By September, Donald Trump Jr. had a Mongolian permit to kill one of the world’s few remaining argali sheep.

ProPublica uncovered the trip. Reporters Jake Pearson and Anand Tumurtogoo described Mongolia’s trophy hunt permit system as “an insider’s game” and reported that Trump Jr. got the permit “retroactively” — a few days after the sadistic late August foray.

A dead argali sheep wasn’t enough for Junior, who also blew away a red deer, descended from the extinct Irish elk. Killing Mongolia’s red deer also requires a permit.

The NRA Again

It seems Trump Jr. bought the trip at a 2015 NRA auction, and that it was arranged by Jandos Kontorbai Ahat, an animal stalking enthusiast whose company is lauded for argali preservation by Mongolia’s environment ministry.

It’s on account of human hunters and cashmere goat farmers that argali are classified as (collectively) threatened. And now these sheep are victims of “preservation” dealers who produce them to become dead objects as tens of thousands of dollars change hands.

Otherwise, argali stalking is illegal — banned since 1953. Commoners who do it get arrested.

Follow the Public’s Money

ProPublica reported that Trump Jr. and Donnie, the president’s grandkid, had bodyguards paid for by both the U.S. and Mongolia on the trip. It further noted that Republicans have been working on import duty exemptions for Mongolian industries (including, as it happens, the cashmere wool farming that directly competes with argali sheep for forage), to undermine Mongolian dependence on China.

U.S. clout, quite simply, has again swayed international officials to kiss up to the Trumps. Previously, Mongolia’s president symbolically gave Barron Trump a Mongol warhorse.

Macabre Tours

Argali sheep are known to be skittish and elusive. Perhaps that’s why Junior shot the sheep at night, using laser technology. The next morning, Junior’s hired hands trucked the dead animal back up the mountain to make a video.

Kaan Karakaya of Turkey was on the macabre trip, ProPublica reports. Karakaya’s company Shikar Safaris touts argali sheep and Turkish ibex to camo-clad Westerners keen to exploit and ruin these animals, then smile for the camera with lifeless heads and tragically beautiful horns. Karakaya’s Instagram account showed off U.S. oil and gas CEO and major Republican donor Kevin Small posing with a dead argali about the same time as Trump Jr.’s August trip.

Trump Jr. couldn’t have legally brought argali parts home without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ProPublica’s query to the Service on whether that permission was granted went unanswered.

Lee Hall holds an LL.M. in environmental law with a focus on climate change, and has taught law as an adjunct at Rutgers–Newark and at Widener–Delaware Law. Lee is an author, public speaker, and creator of the Studio for the Art of Animal Liberation on Patreon.