TV host Melissa Bachman criticized for smiling photograph of herself with dead lion
NEW: Watch Melissa Bachman take down her first moose.
A Minnesota-based host of a big-game hunting program caused a worldwide controversy after she posted a picture of herself posing with a male lion she had just shot in South Africa.
“An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion,” Melissa Bachman tweeted. “What a hunt!”
“She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation, this country prides itself on,” one petition reads. “As tax payers we demand she no longer be granted access to this country and its natural resources.”
Although African lions aren’t considered endangered, conservationists have been trying to educate trophy hunters about how to identify the age of the lions they shoot. Hunters tend to prefer the older, dominant males, which creates potentially devastating infighting problems within the pride. Males seeking to fill the dominant position have been known to kill the cubs and lionesses of their former rivals.
The response by English comedian and The Office co-creator Ricky Gervais called attention to Bachmann’s initial tweet:
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) November 14, 2013
Watch an ABC News report on the controversy below.