A New Zealand hunter sparked horror, criticism, and discussion about hunting rituals after he submitted photos of his 8-year-old daughter eating the heart of a deer — her first ever kill — onto the New Zealand Woman Hunters page on Facebook. In the submission, the proud father shared that his “little pink ninja princess Chloe” had successfully shot and killed a young stag while using his shoulder as a leaning rest. Chloe then “took a bite from its warm quivering heart,” he wrote, and posted a photo of the smiling child biting into the deer’s heart to prove it.
The post proceeded to pick up almost 20,000 shares as the comments section overflowed with critics who said that allowing the child to bite the heart was not only sadistic, but bad parenting. Others defended the hunter, noting that biting the heart of a first kill is an old hunting ritual. In a conversation with Buzzfeed held via email, the hunter said he was surprised but not bothered by the overwhelmingly negative response to his post. “I’d quote the saying, ‘Lions do not care of the opinions of sheep.’ She wanted to do it when she saw a picture of her uncle biting the heart of his first deer,” he wrote. “We’re not too serious about it; it’s something some hunters do with the first kill. I wouldn’t say [it is] ritualistic, but she is a hunter now.”
The page to which he originally shared the photos, NZ Woman Hunters, no longer appears on Facebook. It is so far unclear whether, or why, the page was deleted.
Read the full story and see the controversial photos on Buzzfeed.