A 12-year-old hunter found herself in an uncomfortable social media spotlight after a photo she posted of herself posing alongside a giraffe and zebra she’d killed hunting in South Africa spawned more than 73,000 comments on Facebook. The girl, Aryanna Gourdin, and her father traveled from their home state of Utah to South Africa last week to indulge in their shared love of hunting. Her photos posing with the kills, however, generated an extreme backlash. Some called her “sick” and an “animal hater,” and even went so far as to make threats against her and her father’s life. Others supported her, telling her not to let the “haters” dissuade her from pursuing hunting.
The girl’s father, Eli, took issue with the criticism, saying that the two were “proud to be hunters and [would] never apologize,” noting that the hunting farm they visited had proposed they hunt the giraffe because it had become a problem animal. The meat from the animals they killed, he added, was donated to a local village and will feed 800 orphans over the next month.
On Tuesday, Aryanna apologized publicly on social media for being “offensive to others.” Speaking with ABC News, however, she said that she has no intention of abandoning the sport. “I would never back down from hunting,” she said. “I am a hunter and no matter what people say to me, I’m never going to stop.”
Read the full story at ABC News.