Only A World-Class Asshole Would Post Photos Like These
The needless murder of Cecil the lion by a dentist from Minnesota has helped expose the practice of trophy hunting to a horrified American public. While the fervent backlash has sent Cecil's killer into hiding, it's brought other enthusiasts of the cruel "sport" out of the woodwork - for no apparent reason other than to mock the multitude who care.
But the more hunters defiantly share gory photos that glorify violence to animals, the more out of line with culture norms the practice of hunting for fun appears to be. Truth is, only a world-class asshole would share photos like this nowadays.
Last week, amid widespread criticism over Walter Palmer's killing of Cecil, an American trophy hunter decided to take to social media to fan the flames of outrage with her own hunting photos. The Dodo has decided not to publish her name or face, which would fulfill her attention-seeking aims, but her taunting gesture is still worth pointing out.
"Day #2 I got a amazing old Giraffe," she wrote on Facebook last week while hunting big game in South Africa. "Such a amazing animal!! I couldn't be any happier!! My emotion after getting him was a feeling I will never forget!!!"
By sharing the images publicly, the hunter was apparently well aware that people would find it unsettling. In response to criticism over having killed the giraffe, she wrote: "I knew when I posted this that I would have haters, but I don't care!! I am so proud and lucky to have got such a amazing old bull!!! It was one clean ethical shot!!! A hunt I will NEVER EVER forget!!!"
The hunter's unabashed killing of animals, several others of which she also posted online, has thrust her into the national spotlight - forcing her to try to defend a practice which, as of late, has been roundly condemned.
"To me it's not just killing an animal, it's the hunt,'' she said on TODAY. "There's a lot of personal things in my life that have happened recently that have added to that. I won't get into that or disclose those feelings. Everybody just thinks we're cold-hearted killers, and it's not that. There is a connection with the animal, and just because we hunt them doesn't mean we don't have a respect for them. Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously very quickly."
Oddly enough given her remarks, prior to killing the giraffe the hunter evidently felt comfortable enough to approach him for a selfie.
The hunter claims that her killing of animals for fun was all legal - but while that may be true, the practice is increasingly seen as a shameful taboo, one which may not be legal for long.
Despite oft-repeated, yet largely dubious, claims that hunting iconic species serves some noble purpose in conservation, photos like these prove that the culture surrounding this bloodsport is more a celebration of needless violence than a somber duty of wildlife management.
Taunting, defiant photos like the ones shared by this hunter and others do get a strong point across, though probably not what they hope. Mostly, they reaffirm that the cruel tradition of trophy hunting is the purview of the cruel, callous and contemptible few - and that their pastime is something the rest of us are no longer willing to overlook.