Moneybags is all about saving big cats – and shooting them
Randgold chief is on the board of conservation charity, but has a taste for killing animals on big-game hunts
The longest-serving FTSE 100 boss has been photographed with trophy kills, shot on hunting holidays in Africa, despite sitting on the board of a conservation charity for big cats.
Mark Bristow, the chief executive of Randgold, a mining conglomerate, appears in promotional newsletters on the website of Hunters & Guides Africa, an SA-based professional hunting tour operator.
The newsletters, ranging from 2005 to 2014, show him holding a rifle and posing with dead elephants, buffalo, zebra, hippo, lion and a leopard.
Last year, Bristow was appointed to the conservation council of Panthera, a global charity dedicated to the conservation of wild cats.
The council, an advisory board to the charity, also includes American actress Glenn Close as co-chairperson, as well as the likes of actor Jeremy Irons, author Wilbur Smith and other business leaders, diplomats and wildlife experts.
Bristow, 59, who was born in SA but lives in London, has been CEO of Randgold since 1995.
The company, worth £5bn, agreed last week to be bought by Canada’s Barrick Gold in an all-share deal that will make Bristow boss of the world’s largest gold miner.
Randgold defended Bristow’s hunting activities saying: “Legal, well-regulated hunting can and does deliver benefits for both wildlife conservation and the livelihoods of indigenous communities living with wildlife.”
It added: “Led by Mark Bristow, Randgold Resources has invested in a wide range of biodiversity programmes in its host countries ... and is bringing together conservation professionals and scientists to develop a tailored method for the mining industry in Africa to restore the continent’s biodiversity.”
The international wildlife charity Born Free was scathing, with president Will Travers saying: “Mark Bristow is obviously fond of big numbers. His company, Randgold, just bought by Canada’s Barrick Gold, is worth at least £5bn.
“But there are other numbers he may be less willing to discuss. Mr Bristow shoots African elephants – there are about 415,000 left. Mr Bristow shoots African hippo – there are about 130,000 left.
“He also shoots zebra, antelope, gazelle and leopard. He will claim that it supports conservation and development, but evidence suggests that only around 3% of what people like Mr Bristow spend on their deadly predilection ends up in local communities.
“Trophy hunting is not illegal. It is, however, deeply controversial. Large donations to conservation organisations (shame on them) do nothing to mitigate the horror that will surely be felt by many investors, shareholders and the general public, who will share my sense of disgust and abhorrence at people of wealth and privilege who kill natural treasures of the world – for fun.”
– © The Daily Telegraph