Elsewhere online
May 08, 2015

Tanzania Expels Anti-Poaching Vets Group After PR Blitz

Members of a veterans organization who traveled to Tanzania to tape a TV show about the group's efforts to root out poachers from wildlife reserves have been kicked out of the country amid controversy over an online publicity push about the mission, Military Times reports, citing media in the East African nation.

Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife, or VETPAW, spurred a spate of blogger and media interest with a series of splashy posts, including YouTube clips featuring a weapons-toting member of the group pledging to "kill some bad guys" and "hunt [poachers] down." A six-person VETPAW team was in Tanzania with an Animal Planet TV crew making a show about the group, which has drawn criticism from other organizations combating illegal hunting in Africa.

The last member of a VETPAW group that had been in Tanzania since March reportedly left the country earlier this week. An Animal Planet spokesman did not return calls for comment. On its Web site, VETPAW says it "promotes capacity and relationship building in East Africa" to improve the image of the U.S. military and prevent the extinction of key species.