A 12-year-old hunter has sparked outcry by animal rights activists on social media after photos circulated of the giraffe and zebra she and her father hunted in Africa.
It was one of many hunts that Aryanna Gourdin and her father Eli have gone on together. But in today’s super-charged environment on sites such as Facebook where the photos appeared, people can be extremely incendiary.
One of the photos has more than 22,000 comments, mostly expressing anti-hunting sentiment, with some calling her a murderer and wishing her dead.
It’s not surprising given similar firestorms over Cecil the Lion and Rebecca Francis. Recently also Donald Trump Jr. defended his killing of an African elephant that drew widespread backlash on social media.
Animal rights activists are fiery. But Aryanna and her father are proud hunters, and they aren’t backing down. The pair appeared on Good Morning America recently to defend their love of hunting.
“They love animals,” Aryanna said. “We love animals too. We also love hunting.”
In a show of defiance, all the photos are still on Facebook open to the public. Eli also told reporters the giraffe the pair shot was hunted because it was a nuisance to the local village and all the meat was donated.
“We’re proud to be hunters and we won’t apologize for begign hunters. I don’t tell anyone else how to raise their children.”