Trophy Hunter Who Poses With Heart Of Giraffe Says She Was Helping The Species

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Trophy Hunter Who Poses With Heart Of Giraffe Says She Was Helping The Species

People have been left shocked and outraged after pictures appeared online of a wildlife trophy hunter who killed a giraffe after being gifted the $ 2,000 'hunting experience' by her husband as a Valentine's day present.

South African Merelize Van Der Merwe, shared a picture online of her standing with the dead giraffe's body and then posing with the giraffe's heart which had been cut from the body. The giraffe was believed to be a full-grown adult about 17-years old. Giraffes can live to over 26 years in the wild.

Van Der Merwe said on her Facebook post:

"Ever wondered how big a giraffe's heart is? I'm absolutely over the moon with my BIG valentines present!!! … I'd waited years for my own perfect bull – the older a bull gets the darker he gets. I love the skin and the fact it's such an iconic animal for Africa… My wonderful husband Gerhardt knew this was my dream. I was like a child for two weeks, counting the days. Afterwards I was flooded with emotions."

Van Der Merwe then defended her actions to the UK Mirror newspaper, saying:

"If hunting is banned, animals will become worthless and will disappear. Hunting has helped bring back a lot of species from the brink of extinction. The only people protecting these animals are trophy hunters."

She also claimed that the meat was provided to local villagers and that by killing the animal it will make way for younger healthier animals to take its place. She now says that she plans to use the skin of the animal to make a rug and that trophy hunting provided jobs for poor Africans. She went on to accuse animal-rights groups of 'acting like the mafia'.

Animal-rights organisation, Born Free, said in response to the killing of the giraffe:

"Trophy hunting is a cruel throwback to a colonial past, and the targeting of particular animals (usually those with the most impressive traits such as the biggest tusks or the darkest manes) disrupts animal societies and has knock-on effects for populations and ecosystems that we are only just beginning to understand."

There are approximately 68,000 giraffes still left in the wild. Their total number has declined by 40% in the last 30 years, mostly as a result of habitat destruction and hunting.

[h/t: I heart Intelligence]

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Thinking Humanity: Trophy Hunter Who Poses With Heart Of Giraffe Says She Was Helping The Species
Trophy Hunter Who Poses With Heart Of Giraffe Says She Was Helping The Species
People have been left shocked and outraged after pictures appeared online of a wildlife trophy hunter who killed a giraffe after being gifted the $2,0
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