TV presenter causes outrage after posing with lion she killed
An American television presenter has prompted outrage by boasting online that she had killed a lion in South Africa
Melissa Bachman, a keen hunter who makes programmes on the American outdoors, posted a photograph on Facebook and Twitter of her holding a rifle and smiling beside the corpse of a male lion.
“Incredible day in South Africa,” the self-styled “hardcore huntress” said of her pursuits at the Maroi Conservancy, adding: “Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion … what a hunt!”
A furious online reaction led Bachman to deactivate her Facebook and Twitter pages within hours. It also prompted an online petition asking the South African government to bar her from returning.
“She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on,” said Elan Burman of Cape Town, the author of the petition, which quickly gathered 3,000 signatures.
“You, lady, are what is wrong with the world,” said Richard Robinson of Maryland, who was among the signatories. “Take with no consequences. Shoot, kill, consume, destroy.
“You didn't kill a lion, you stood behind a machine and pulled a little trigger, you pathetic, sad excuse of a human.”
While the African lion is rated “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, it is not officially an endangered species. “The main threats to lions are indiscriminate killing,” said the organisation.
The photograph was in keeping with Ms Bachman's past activities. Her official website displays pictures of her posing beside dead alligators, turkeys and bears among other quarry.
She was axed as a contestant on the National Geographic programme Ultimate Survival Alaska last year after 13,000 people signed a petition protesting against the inclusion of a “heartless trophy hunter”. Ms Bachman could not be contacted for comment on Friday.
Ricky Gervais, the British comedian, shared Ms Bachman's comment “what a hunt!” on his own Twitter feed, adding: “Spot the typo”.