NRA lobbyist shoots elephant in the face and then celebrates with champagne

The NBC Sports network came under fire this week after it aired an NRA-sponsored program that included gun lobbyist Tony Makris shooting an elephant in the face and then drinking champagne.

Deadspin noted on Tuesday that the Botswana hunt had aired during this week's episode of Under Wild Skies.

Makris is a longtime friend of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and is best known for orchestrating Charlton Heston's rise within the organization.

In a video of the hunt, Makris spots an elephant in the brush, walks up and shoots it in the the face twice. After a short chase, Makris fires again and the elephant is dead.

The NRA lobbyist then takes a moment to pose with his .577 "Tyrannosaur" rifle and the dead pachyderm.

As the episode ends, the group of hunters enjoys a glass of champagne while watching the sunset.

"To hunt an elephant and to harvest and elephant and to bring the ivory back to camp is a very, very special occasion," one hunter says.

Botswana announced in 2012 that an all-out ban on commercial elephant hunting would go into effect in January of 2014 over concerns of sharp declines in wildlife species.

The outrage over the NBC Sports broadcast comes as authorities in Zimbabwe this week said that poachers seeking ivory had used cyanide to poison at least 81 elephants.

Watch this video from NBC Sport, uploaded Sept. 24, 2013.

(h/t: Jonathan Turley)