Trophy Hunter Defends Spending $2,000 To Shoot Giraffe And Pose With Its Heart
A trophy hunter has defended her husband’s decision to gift her a £1,500 ($2,000) experience of shooting a giraffe and posing with its heart for Valentine’s Day.
Merelize Van Der Merwe, from South Africa, rocked the internet this week when she posted a picture of herself posing with a giraffe’s heart. To the disgust of many, it turns out she had shot the animal and then cut out its heart.
‘Ever wondered how big a giraffe’s heart is? I’m absolutely over the moon with my BIG valentines present!!!’, she wrote alongside the picture, thanking her husband for the opportunity.
Rebuking comments from her critics, Merwe told The Mirror she has ‘no respect’ for animal rights groups, which she likened to the mafia.
She said the hunting and killing of the giraffe, who was 17 years old, ‘created work for 11 people that day’ and provided ‘meat for the locals’.
Like many hunters, she claims that a ban on hunting would make animals ‘worthless’ and cause them to go extinct.
‘Hunting has helped bring back a lot of species from the brink of extinction,’ she claimed, referring to the belief that hunters generate income for conservation efforts.
However, this has been strongly refuted by anti-hunting organisations such as Born Free, which said hunting does not support conservation or local communities.
Born Free said hunters pay ‘large amounts of money for the privilege’ of killing wild, trophy animals, which has incentivised a hunting business model.
Businesses breed animals specifically for hunting ‘to the detriment of the wider environment’, Born Free said.
‘Trophy hunting is a cruel throwback to a colonial past, and the targeting of particular animals (usually those with the most impressive traits such as the biggest tusks or the darkest manes) disrupts animal societies and has knock-on effects for populations and ecosystems that we are only just beginning to understand,’ Born Free added.
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