A ‘trophy hunter’ killed a giraffe and cut out its heart as a Valentine’s Day gift for husband | Image credit: Twitter
A South African trophy hunter has sparked backlash after posting photos of her posing with a dead giraffe and its heart on social media. Her post on Facebook has angered animal lovers after her husband paid for her to shoot and kill an old giraffe as a Valentine’s Day gift.
According to a Daily Mail report, South African resident Merelize Van Der Merwe shot and killed a 17-year old bull giraffe on February 14 in the north of the country. To publicize her trophy hunting exploits she then posed with the dead animal, she didn’t stop there and followed it with grisly images of holding the elderly giraffe’s heart. She captioned the post boasting that he was ‘over the moon’ with her present.
The 32-year-old’s uploads caused an uproar on social media, as one of her graphic photos was captioned as, ‘Ever wondered how big a giraffe’s heart is?’.Reminiscing on the hunt, she further wrote that she was like a ‘little child’ and for two weeks she counted down the days.
The mother of one who has hunted more than 500 animals including lions, leopards and elephants among others so far, said she’s been waiting for years to have her ‘own perfect bull’ giraffe. Knowing it was her dream to have her own bull, her husband decided to pay for her to shoot a giraffe as a Valentine’s Day gift, she added in her post.
The images quickly caused a stir online and have infuriated animal activists. But an unrepentant Van Der Merwe defended her actions saying that killing the aging bull giraffe helps save threatened species in South Africa. She also lashed out at her critics with branding them as ‘triggered liberals’ and said that nothing would stop her from hunting big time.
Animals lovers also vented towards the trophy hunt killing, saying it’s ‘not helpful’ but is simply ‘murder’. Conservationists further disputed this by saying that ‘trophy hunting’ encourages people to breed animals for sport, which disrupts ecosystems and harms the environment. Removing wild animals, particularly big bulls/males, damages the herds in which they live, they argued.