12-Year-Old Hunter Sparks Outrage For Trophy Kill Photos
Aryanna Gourdin and her father, Eli Gourdin embarked on a hunting trip last week and posted photos from their trip online.
She posted a photo on the Braids and Bows Facebook page of her posing next to a dead zebra with a bow and arrow, accompanied with a caption that read, “One of my dream hunts for sure.” Other pictures posted to the Facebook page includes Aryanna posing with a dead giraffe, a dead antelope, and a dead bear among other animals.
The photos have sparked outrage from the online community. Some social media users lambasted the pre-teen for her trophy kills.
“How could ending a helpless life bring you pride and joy? If anything, you should be ashamed. I’m not bringing you hatred, I’m just telling you,” wrote one user.
Another user wrote, “What, running around killing animals is a dream? When will you realize how weirdly sick this is? Poorly raised, actually child abuse.”
Some backed the father-daughter hunters, writing “never apologize for being a hunter!!!” and “You keep doing what you love sweetie!”
Aryanna Gourdin defended the trophy hunting sport in an interview with Good Morning America on Aug. 17.
“It’s something I cherish and enjoy and I want other people to see what I experienced,” the pre-teen said. “I would never back down from hunting. I am a hunter and no matter what people say to me, I’m never going to stop.”
Eli stood by his daughter, who he’s taken on hunting trips for the past five years.
“I don’t tell anybody else how to raise their children,” he said. “We’re proud to be hunters and we’ll never apologize for being a hunter.”
Eli told Good Morning America that the hunting farm said the giraffe was “a problem animal” and its meat was donated to a local village that will help feed 800 orphans.
This is one of several instances where hunters have faced harsh criticism for posting trophy kills online. Last July, dentist Walter Palmer received backlash after he killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.
Texas Tech University cheerleader Kendall Jones also faced death threats in 2014 after she shared photos of herself smiling next to dead animals in Africa which she killed while hunting.