TV presenter Melissa Bachman raised ire when she posted a photo of a male lion she allegedly shot and killed on Twitter and Facebook. Within hours of the post, an online petition by Cape Town resident Elan Burman asking the South African government to ban Bachman from ever returning to the country was launched. The picture depicts Bachman crouching over the carcass of a male lion with its eyes closed, paws either side of its head, as she holds her gun and smiles toothily. She posted the picture to twitter & instagram with the caption: “An incredible say hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60 yards on the this beautiful male lion… what a hunt!”
The post provoked a furious response from many Twitter users, who called her ‘disgusting’ and ‘vile.’
At the time of writing, Burman’s petition had 6,011 signatures. Signatory Richard Robinson wrote:
“…You didn’t kill a lion, you stood behind a machine and pulled a little trigger, you pathetic, sad excuse of a human. Your money, your hunting antics, your insecurity to look at an amazing animal with the need to kill it instead of appreciating it and letting it be, are the traits of a coward.”
These are some of the twitter hate comments against Melissa’s passion for killing wild animals.
The African lion is considered a vulnerable species. Numbers are rapidly declining due to loss of habitat and conflict with humans. However, hunting lions is legal in several countries, including South Africa where Bachman bagged her big male. Bachman’s social media pages and website,http://www.melissabachman.com/, reveal an array of huge beasts that have died after coming in contact with her. The ‘Trophy Room’ section of her website features a grinning Bachman with dead deer, antelope, alligators, turkeys and hogs. This latest furor is not the first time Bachman has run afoul of anti-hunting groups. Last year, she was slated to appear on the National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survivor Alaska but was dropped after a Change.org petition that called Bachman a ‘contracted trophy killer’ was signed more than 13,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Minnesota-based Bachman, whose blog includes posts such as ‘Why every girl should try bowhunting’ and ‘Stupid hunting regulations I just can’t stand,’ is the host of a television series called Winchester Deadly Passion. In each episode, she travels to a locale and hunts its native animals with a variety of weapons including her beloved bow and arrow.
Lourens Mostert, a manager at the Maroi conservancy where Bachman shot the lion said the hunt was legal. He said:
“If it isn’t right to hunt these lions, why does our government legally give us permission? This is not the only lion that has been hunted in South Africa this year.”
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