By Jon Swaine
17 November 2013
(Sydney Morning Herald) – A US television presenter has prompted outrage after boasting online that she had killed a lion in South Africa.
Melissa Bachman, a keen hunter who produces programs on the American outdoors, posted a photograph on Facebook and Twitter of her holding a rifle and smiling beside the corpse of a male lion.
''Incredible day in South Africa,'' the self-styled ''hardcore huntress'' said of her pursuits at the Maroi Conservancy, adding: ''Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion - what a hunt!''
A furious online reaction led Ms Bachman to deactivate her Facebook and Twitter pages within hours. It also prompted an online petition asking the South African government to bar her from returning.
''She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on,'' said Elan Burman of Cape Town, the author of the petition that quickly gathered 3000 signatures.
''You, lady, are what is wrong with the world,'' said Richard Robinson of Maryland, who was among the signatories. ''Take with no consequences. Shoot, kill, consume, destroy.
''You didn't kill a lion, you stood behind a machine and pulled a little trigger, you pathetic, sad excuse of a human.''
While the African lion is rated ''vulnerable'' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, it is not officially an endangered species and hunting it is legal in a number of countries, including South Africa.
''The main threats to lions are indiscriminate killing,'' the organisation said. [more]