Melissa Bachman Faces Huge Social Media Backlash Over Lion Hunting Photo
OK, I’ve seen this pop up in my Facebook and Twitter feeds literally 500 times over the past week, so apparently there is enough critical mass behind this that it warrants a mention here.
Professional trophy hunter Melissa Bachman posted a photo of herself with a deceased, adult, male African lion that she killed during a South African hunt.
That made some people mad. Lots of people apparently based on how many times I’ve seen it posted.
It even made some people mad enough that they started an online petition to have Bachman banned from South Africa.
According to the petition description:
Melissa Bachman has made a career out of hunting wildlife, for pure sport. Her antics are captured extensively on her personal website: http://www.melissabachman.com/. She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation, this country prides itself on. Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.
Hopefully these people are vegetarians, because wildlife killed during a hunt has a far better life and far less traumatic death than most domestically raised meat.
Anyway, people are apparently mad that she shot a lion. I’m not sure if people realize, but people do hunt lions in Africa. It’s big, no HUGE, business there. A single lion hunt, where one lion is taken, can have an economic impact on the region/country where the hunt takes place of over $100,000. That’s $100,000, per hunt.
Much of those funds go to conservation efforts and to prevent poaching (which is one of the main conservation problems in Africa).
There are also a carefully calculated number of big game permits available in Africa each year, and while the process varies from country to country, most countries adjust the number of permits available based on the population of the animals to be hunted.
Personally, I’m not someone who would engage in trophy hunting, and I’m sure many people have varied opinions on the subject. However, I do recognize the larger conservation impact that trophy hunting can have. What Bachman did here was perfectly legal, and likely had an economic impact on the area where she hunted in the tens of thousands of dollars, if not $100,000+. Also, according to some accounts, the meat and other parts of the lion were donated to local villages.
Also, if these people actually cared about the wild life, and not just shaming hunters, wouldn’t they be petitioning to end big game hunting in Africa. Are any of the petitioners volunteering to go hang out in the African wilderness to protect these animals from poachers? No? Didn’t think so.