The story is blasting it's way around our internet as we speak, Melissa Bachman - a US TV presenter who stars in a series called Winchester Deadly Passion - has been bombarded with accusations and angry comments after posting a picture of herself next to a lion she has just shot and killed. A public petition has been created to ban her from South Africa stating: "She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on." But don't people know that this is an event that happens continuously in South Africa? Don't ban the girl, ban the sport!
This is Melissa Bachman and she has hunted since childhood. She now hosts a show which follows her hunting exploits using weapons from rifles to bows and arrows. She has posted plenty of pictures onto her facebook and twitter account of her sat next to animals she has just shot... so what has suddenly changed? Her most recent kill, the majestic King of Africa, seems to have gone beyond the public's level of acceptance.
But hunting lions in South Africa is no new thing, it is not illegal and there are many people who make money from the sport: a lot of money made from hunting lions apparently goes back into conservation. In fact the hunting industry in Southern Africa is one of the biggest incomes for the country, thousands of lion, leopard, elephant and antelope carcasses are transported out of the Africa every year. Even rhinos are occasionally still allowed to be legally hunted despite their plummeting numbers. Yes RHINOS!
This is an entire industry with lions being bred specifically for the purpose of being shot. Be aware that projects in Africa which claim to breed lions for re-release are often selling them to the hunting industry (read my previous post FALSE PRETENCES - LION BREEDING PROJECTS). Some lions are kept in cages their whole lives and then released into a wild environment that they have no idea how to utilise, just to be shot by a hunter who wants a "more natural experience".
So why are people going crazy and asking to ban her, who is amongst thousands of hunters? Don't use your people power to ban her, use your power to ban the hunting industry! Come on people, use this to open your eyes and stop countless animals being shot for sport! Check out http://www.lionaid.org/ to find out what you can do to stop this horrific industry continuing to destroy our natural world.