Zimbabwe’s controversial president Robert Mugabe is preparing for a lavish birthday party at which 20,000 guests will feast on two young elephants.
The first animal was shot on Thursday and has already been cut up and passed to party organisers, according to reports in the LA Times and other media.
The second is yet to be killed and will be given to members of the community.
Mr Mugabe, who turned 91 last week, was given the animals by game farmer Tendai Musasa, who also donated a lion and a crocodile to be stuffed, and a herd of impala.
Two members of the president’s government offered 40 cows for slaughter for the bash to be held at Victoria Falls this evening.
Africa’s longest-serving leader is still viewed with respect by many on the continent after he led Zimbabwe to independence, however, he is subject to travel bans in the European Union and US.
He won hotly disputed elections in 2013 and his political standing appears solid, despite the country’s economy in a perilous state.
During his 27-year reign, he has crushed dissent and sparred frequently with the West over his human rights record, casting himself as a champion of post-colonial Africa.
When he initially took power he was seen as promoting reconciliation, but controversial land reforms that forced out white farmers from 2000 onwards drew ire in the West.
Since then, he has increasingly been accused of human rights abuses and vote-rigging as his ZANU-PF party has clung on to power.