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November 19, 2013

150,000 Sign Petition to Ban Hunter from Returning to South Africa. ~ Laura Ashworth

How could anyone ever kill a face like this? Or, kill anything for that matter?

It’s deer season in Virginia. When I drive to my parents rural country house for visits, I see the most beautiful bucks, does and fawns grazing in fields of grass and soybeans; their slick, brown coats bathed in moonlight.

I also see trucks parked along the outskirts of these desolate, forested roads.

These tucks carry hunters, and although I hesitate to admit it, I know these trucks might eventually carry the dead bodies of the proud, soulful deer I see nuzzling against one another in the fields.

To say I dislike the sport of hunting would be an understatement.

I loathe the sport of hunting and cannot see how it’s justified in any way, shape or form.

Hunters in Virginia attempt to justify it. They claim that by hunting they are helping to prevent an overpopulation of deer; which could wreak havoc on local vegetation and farms. However, there is an alternative to hunting, a less violent path to aid in controlling deer population—birth control.

Using birth control to regulate animal populations by suppressing their immune system in a way that prevents fertilization, called immunocontraception, has been used within many different animal populations, including elephants, with great success. Presently, immunocontraception is not a widespread means of controlling animal populations though;  with the lucrative buisness of hunting playing a role in stifling this alternative, no doubt.

Yet, hunting to control overpopulation is not always a key factor in a hunter’s decision to kill. There are many hunters whom simply enjoy the stalking, killing and predatory nature of the hunt.

In fact, many underpopulated animal species are hunted. Lions are one such species.

Since the 1950’s, the lion population in Africa has been reduced by 50 percent, with less than 21,000 lions living in the wild today.

Television Host and avid hunter Melissa Bachman is contributing to this depletion in the lion population.

She, along with other Big Game hunters, are killing Africa’s lions simply for the sport of it. And recently, her sport caught up with her and sparked worldwide outrage.

Although she’s killed numerous animals before, and televised these kills on her show Winchester’s Deadly Passion, it’s her latest kill (which she proudly tweeted as, “Incredible day in South Africa! Stalked this male lion…what a hunt!”) that has finally added more needed awareness to the cruel sport of hunting.

Here is the photo:

Disturbing, right?

The lion in the above picture was killed in South Africa. Understandably, many South Africans were angered by Bachman’s actions and her accompanying “happy” photograph.

One South African, Elan Burman from Cape Town, has even gone so far as to create a petition asking the South African government to deny Bachman future entry into his country.

So far, the petition has reached 224,599 supporters and has gained 150,000 signatures.

Granted, this is not the first lion killed in South Africa, and sadly, nor will it be the last; but it’s inspiring to see someone defending this lion and holding its killer accountable.

There is something haunting about the above photograph. About the way the lion looks as if his body has just hit the ground, with Bachman towering above him, lacking remorse, smiling a large, alive smile. The photograph, in all honesty, makes me feel ill.

There was no reason for this lion to die—Bachman was not starving.

She, and other sport hunters, are not killing for survival. They kill for fun.

They kill simply because they can.

Here is the petition: The Goverment of the Republic of South Africa: Deny Future Entry to Melissa Bachman.

Please sign, or support, if you’d like to keep South Africa’s Lions, and other Big Game, safe from Melissa Bachman. 

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Image: Flickr

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Laura Ashworth