Donald Trump children
L-R) Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. laugh during a ribbon cutting at the Trump Soho Hotel in New York April 9, 2010.REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may not be a hunter, but he will defend his sons when they're attacked for being big game hunters. Photos of the Donald's adult sons, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump hunting wild animals in Africa, have resurfaced amid comparisons with Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer.

According to the New York Daily News, the brothers went on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe in 2011 and took photos of themselves with the animals they killed.

In one of the photos, Donald Jr is seen smiling next to the body of a dead buffalo, while in another he proudly holds the tail of an elephant he killed. Two other photos show Eric sitting atop a dead buffalo surrounded by guns and crouching behind a downed antelope.

A fifth photo show the brothers smiling as they hold up a dead leopard.

The pair have been critised on social media as they're compared to Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, who is believed to have killed the beloved 13-year-old lion Cecil in Zimbabwe earlier this month. Palmer, who is being sought by authorities, reportedly paid $55,000 to local guides to participate in the hunt.

Trump is, of course, jumping to his children's defence. According to the Daily Mail, the reality TV star turned politician said his "sons love to hunt".

"My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment," Trump told reporters while attending the Women's British Open at his Trump Turnery golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland.

"But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf," he continued. "My other son, Don, is a hunter. They're great marksman, great shots, they love it...I em, like golf. I don't do that."

The Daily Mail reported the Republican front-runner refused to comment on the specific issue of shooting endangered animals.