AN image of Melissa Bachman, a professional hunter and media personality with a slaughtered lion has gone viral. The image was posted on Bachman’s personal Facebook page. The by-line of the photo read as follows –
‘An incredible day hunting in South Africa!! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!’
A spokesperson from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: ‘ Maybe the public backlash against her revolting photos will help Bachman realise that dressing up like a Laura Croft wannabe, slaughtering wildlife and then posing for photos does not make her a strong and powerful woman’.
PETA continued by stating that ‘Hunting is cruel and completely devoid of sportsmanship. It takes no courage or character to stalk and kill trapped animals.’
Bachman hunted and killed the lion at the Maroi Conservancy, Limpopo. The safari park is on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe and offers safari and farming holidays to its customers. The website contains pricelists, accommodation information and photos of previous customers and their trophies. The hunter pays a rate of €280 per day for a minimum of seven days. Prices vary between species that can be hunted in the park, with the hunter paying per trophy received. Prices vary from €50 for a baboon up to €12,000 for a buffalo. Certain species are available for hunting after obtaining a permit from the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Bachman celebrates her hunting career through her Facebook page, personal website and blog. Her personal photo album contains pictures of dozens of trophy animals; including a zebra, an Illinois buck, crocodiles and an Alaskan brown bear. The user comments underlying the graphic photos highlight the accepted hunting and arms culture in America.
Bachman has been condemned by stars such as Ricky Gervais, who is a prolific Twitter user. Gervais has received mass response from his over 5.25million followers’ database. Bachman keeps her Facebook profile public and has 19,742 subscribers to her page.
Bachman stars on the television show, Deadly Passion. The show has released 13 episodes, with each episode focusing on different animals in various locations. Since her involvement in hunting went viral Bachman has received death threats and insults on Twitter, resulting in her account being closed down.
Elan Burman from Cape Town, SA, started a petition online with Change.org. The petition is entitled; The Government of the Republic of South Africa: Deny future entry to Melissa Bachman. The petition has received over 245,500 signatures and the numbers are constantly rising. It is available to sign on Change.org, and offers the option to share on your Facebook and Twitter profiles.