Jimmy John’s founder and CEO Jimmy John Liautaud is under fire for after photos of him allegedly posing with dead elephants, rhinoceros, and a leopard appeared on the internet.
The photographs, allegedly taken during a 2010 safari in Africa, have sparked calls for a boycott of the sandwich chain, Grub Street reports.
The photos began circulating online this week after a Twitter user shared them with his nearly one million followers.
An image was also posted to Reddit, and was viewed more than a quarter million times before being taken down.
Jimmy John’s has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
There’s nothing to suggest any illegal activity in the photographs. But the calls for boycotts could affect business for a company that’s reportedly preparing to go public — especially considering the public uproar following the
recent killing of an African lion named “Cecil”.
The Minnesota dentist who killed the lion was reportedly forced to shut down his practice following the public firestorm.
This isn’t the first time the photographs allegedly showing Liautaud and his “trophy kills” have surfaced publicly. Animal rights activists have been circulating them online for years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the safari photos in response to a 2013 request by the Tribune.
A watermark on the photos suggests they were taken during a 2010 hunting safari led by Johan Calitz Safaris. “Johan Calitz Safaris offers fair-chase dangerous and plains-game safaris to the discerning hunter in remote wilderness areas in Africa,” the company’s Facebook page says.
We reached out to the safari company for comment.
A magazine called The Hunting Report, which records big-game hunting expeditions, has several records of hunts by a “Jimmy John Liautaud,” including some led by Johan Calitz Safaris.
According to the records, a “Jimmy John Liautaud” has hunted for elephant, zebra, leopard, lynx, rhinoceros, and other animals.
Here’s one example of a hunting record in that name:
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