More Than 12,000 People Sign Petition To Ban Giraffe Heart Trophy Hunter From Facebook

by : Julia Banim on : 24 Feb 2021 17:01
More Than 12,000 People Sign Petition To Ban Giraffe Heart Trophy Hunter From FacebookMerelize van der Merwe/Facebook

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition to ban a giraffe heart trophy hunter from Facebook.

Merelize Van Der Merwe, from South Africa, disgusted animal lovers across the world after she shared a photograph of herself posing with a giraffe’s heart. It soon emerged that she had shot and killed the animal herself before cutting out its heart as a trophy.


To the repulsion of many, Van Der Merwe, 32, expressed pride and delight in her kill, writing, ‘I’m absolutely over the moon with my BIG valentines present!!!’ alongside the graphic image.

GiraffeMerelize van der Merwe/Facebook

Following the resulting backlash, Van Der Merwe appeared to show no regret over her actions, and has even defended hunting and killing the 17-year-old giraffe.

Speaking with the Mirror, Van Der Merwe claimed the kill had ‘created work for 11 people that day’ while providing ‘meat for the locals’.


Van Der Merwe also lashed out at animal rights groups, telling the Mirror that she ‘no respect’ for them and refers to them as ‘the mafia’:

If hunting is banned, animals will become worthless and will disappear. Hunting has helped bring back a lot of species from the brink of extinction. The only people protecting these animals are trophy hunters.

One quick glance through her Facebook page and it becomes clear that Van Der Merwe harbours a dislike towards animal rights activists, and doesn’t seem to care about offending anyone with her graphic images of hunted animals.


Now animal lovers are campaigning to have Van Der Merwe’s public figure Facebook page taken down, clocking up more than 12,000 signatures on Change.org.

The petition reads as follows:

Merelize van der Merwe (@Merelizevdm) has 80,600 likes and 97,700 followers on Facebook.

On her “public figure” page, this monster shares images of the endangered species she massacres. Amongst them are giraffes, elephants and leopards.

She also shares imagery and videos of herself covered in blood, of dead children and her and her fellow barbarians chopping up their victims.

Why does Facebook, a supposed site with family values, allow this? Instead, they should do the decent thing: Ban her.

It’s understood that Van Der Merwe is well aware of the petition against her, sharing a link to it captioned ‘New petition against me…. thought I’ll help their small minded cause a bit’, with a series of ‘crying laughing’ emojis.


A the time of writing, it’s unclear what action will be taken by Facebook, if any.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, heart, Now


Change.org and 1 other
  1. Change.org

    Ban giraffe slaughterer Merelize van der Merwe from Facebook

  2. Mirror

    Trophy hunter poses with 'Valentine's gift' - the heart of giraffe she just shot