Hans Van der Klerk, the Bridgehampton billionaire who has flown 26 lions to his Hamptons home from his native South Africa, is postponing letting them loose to hunt and eat all the deer in the community by one week.
“It has been pointed out to me,” he wrote in an open letter to neighbors today, “that my initial plan to release the lions this Monday, December 23, is not a good idea. Because people will have to stay indoors during the deer hunt, they will be unable to get out for Christmas celebrations on Wednesday, December 25.
“Although my original plan was to get them out and off my property on Monday so my own guests, helicoptered in to my property for our family Christmas celebration, would not have to listen to the terrible roars that are eminatating from my 17 car garage where they are being kept, I now see this was selfish of me. I was not thinking clearly.
“I apologize to the people of the Hamptons for asking them to stay indoors from December 20 until the deed was done. You people have your own Christmases to celebrate, and that might involve travel, and at least to all of you, your Christmas is more important than mine. Silly me.
“We will put up with the roaring for another week. We will shout during our celebration. Indeed we will talk jokingly about the fact that had I been smarter, I would not have brought them to the Hamptons from South Africa until after Christmas was over. But I am not that smart. Just lucky to have made all this money, that’s all. So I made a mistake.
“Enjoy your Christmas holiday. Then, on Monday, December 30, the lions will be released to track down and eat all the deer here in the Hamptons at which time you are strongly advised to remain in your homes from that date on and through to the next ten days when the lions are full and unable to eat more and we will pick them up.
“Also, I don’t think it’s enough to atone for my errors by just the delaying the lion release. I intend to atone further by making a considerable financial donation to the food pantries of this community immediately after I finish this apology.
See you at the club.
Hans Van der Klerk