Evergreen man fined $25K for killing African elephant in Zimbabwe

DENVER – An Evergreen man will have to pay the maximum fine of $25,000 for killing an African Elephant inside a national park in Zimbabwe after he pleaded guilty earlier this week in federal court to violating the Endangered Species Act.

Paul Ross Jackson, 63, shot and killed the elephant inside of Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park in the spring of 2015. He then worked with others to export the elephant to South Africa to allegedly harvest the elephant’s ivory tusks, according to U.S. Attorney for Colorado Robert Troyer.

The court documents say that Jackson violated Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wild Life Act when he shot the elephant, and he pleaded guilty on Tuesday to violating the Endangered Species Act. The hunt was guided by a professional hunter based in South Africa.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak sentenced Jackson to the maximum fine of $25,000.

Jackson will also be banned from hunting designated or endangered species for four years as part of the plea agreement, and agreed to return the ivory harvested from the elephant to Zimbabwe, according to Troyer and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent in Charge Steve Oberholtzer.

"When American hunters violate the laws of foreign countries in the unethical pursuit of trophies, they don't just undermine the conservation efforts that make hunting possible. They break the law," Troyer said in a statement. "Our prosecutors, working closely with Fish and Wildlife agents stationed around the globe, are committed to holding poachers accountable so that elephants and other threatened and endangered species can be appreciated by future generations."

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