|Steven E. Chancellor pictured with one of his lion kills in Botswana|
The American media has been abuzz about the adventures of an American dentist who bagged a beloved 13-year old lion, Cecil, during an expensive hunting safari to Zimbabwe. Much closer to home, one of Indiana's most prominent businessman has landed more than his share of big game on safaris he's taken to Africa and elsewhere. Steven E. Chancellor's sprawling Evansville mansion where he hosts presidential candidates and other politicians for high-dollar political fundraising events has been described by his guests as a virtual museum for all of the exotic game he's killed. But you don't have to visit the American Patriot Group's CEO's Evansville home for proof of his big game hunting prowess. Photos of his kills and a personal testimony can be found on Rann Safaris website. "My lion hunt with Rann Safaris in Botswana was beyond my expectations," Chancellor is quoted as saying. "Jeff Rann, my professional hunter and I saw many mature lions during our lion hunt. It was a unique and wonderful experience. A memorable hunt," Chancellor is quoted as saying. Thank you Jeff."
Believe it or not, Chancellor's big game exploits became the topic of a 2001 news story in the Chicago Tribune. Chancellor was using his political muscle at the time to try to get the Botswana government to lift its ban on lion hunting. He added muscle to his lobbying efforts with letters of recommendation from his good friends, including former President George H.W. Bush, former Vice President Dan Quayle and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. All four men were described as being members of Safari Club International, an advocacy group that promoted big game hunting around the world. The group was accused of offering a Las Vegas trip and other offerings to Botswana's president at the time to win favor. "Your millionaires are anxious to shoot our lions," said a senior government official in Botswana, which imposed the one-year hunting ban in February to assess the health of its big cat populations. "They've got these political blokes to back them up."