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Evergreen man fined for killing vulnerable African elephant

An Evergreen man reportedly killed a vulnerable African elephant and then tried to take its ivory to South Africa. In a plea agreement, he's agreed to pay a fine and return the ivory.
Credit: Grame Shannon
Wild African elephant

Paul Ross Jackson, 63, of Evergreen, will pay $25,000 for violating the Endangered Species Act for shooting and killing an African elephant inside the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe in 2015, according to the Department of Justice.

Jackson worked with a South African-based professional hunter, someone in New York who helped make the hunt happen, and several Zimbabwe-based hunting businesses when he tried to get the elephant's corpse transported to South Africa so he could sell 26-27 kilograms of ivory tusk, the Department of Justice Said.

The government of Zimbabwe blocked Jackson's first attempt to get it out of their country on the grounds that he lived in Colorado and not South Africa, so he tried to get documentation to make it look like he lived in South Africa, the DOJ said.

According to a plea agreement, Jackson agreed not to hunt anything threatened or endangered anywhere in the world for the next four years. He's also agreed to work with the U.S. Wildlife Conservation Commission to try and get the ivory back to the government of Zimbabwe.

U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said in a news release that when hunters violate the laws of foreign countries just for an unethical trophy, they don't just undermine conservation efforts, they break the law.