Girl, 12, hits back after outrage at Facebook hunting photos of her with dead zebras and bears

Aryanna Gourdin shared pictures of a safari adventure in South Africa with her father Eli on her Facebook page and has received a massive backlash from commenters. Photo / Aryanna Gourdin Facebook
Aryanna Gourdin shared pictures of a safari adventure in South Africa with her father Eli on her Facebook page and has received a massive backlash from commenters. Photo / Aryanna Gourdin Facebook

A 12-year old hunter who posted photos of herself with a dead giraffe, zebra and impala has hit back after outrage over her controversial hobby.

Aryanna Gourdin, from Utah, shared pictures of a safari adventure in South Africa with her father Eli on her Facebook page, Braid and Bows, which has almost 60,000 likes.

"One of my dream hunts for sure," she captioned a photo of herself with a dead zebra and bow and arrow.

But the images sparked a backlash from tens of thousands of horrified commenters, who called her "disgusting" and "selfish", decrying the pastime as "sick" and "utterly unpleasant".

Some even issued death threats to Aryanna and her dad.

Other users leapt to her defence, posting "let the haters hate" and calling her "a great young hunter".

In response, Aryanna changed her profile picture to one of her and her father with a gun and a dead giraffe, writing: "My last profile picture was very offensive to others and I have learned my lesson with that pose, I apologise."

She then posted links to hunting group Rack Em Up. "Big black face eland bull DOWN at Sediba Nkwe!!" reads a caption on one recent post. "What an experience Africa has been this year ... I love this life we live.

"We hunt, get over it. We're not changing for anyone or anything."

As the debate raged, Aryanna even appeared on Good Morning America, telling an interviewer she would never give up hunting.

"It's something I cherish and enjoy and I want other people to see what I experienced," she said. "I would never back down from hunting. I am a hunter, and no matter what people say to me, I'm never going to stop."

Her father Eli added: "We're proud to be hunters and we'll never apologise for being a hunter."

He said the farm they had visited gave them the giraffe to hunt because it was a problem animal, according to abcnews.go.com. "They actually had an older giraffe that was eating up valuable resources other giraffes need to survive," he said, adding that the meat from the animals was donated to a local village to feed 800 orphans over a month.

The controversy over the images of trophy hunters with their kill follows a slew of similar recent cases.

In February 2015, there was fury after images of former Australian cricketers Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath hunting African animals on safari in 2008 circulated on social media.

Last July, a wealthy US dentist provoked global outrage after he killed Cecil the lion with a bow and arrow in Zimbabwe.

Walter Palmer, who is believed to have paid around $70,000 to illegally hunt the animal, said he had no idea about Cecil's protected status. Photo / Facebook
Walter Palmer, who is believed to have paid around $70,000 to illegally hunt the animal, said he had no idea about Cecil's protected status. Photo / Facebook

Walter Palmer, who is believed to have paid around $70,000 to illegally hunt the animal, said he had no idea about Cecil's protected status. The lion took 40 hours to die and was then skinned and beheaded.

A month after that story emerged, glamorous American accountant Sabrina Corgatelli faced a backlash after posting pictures of herself with the dead bodies of a giraffe, warthog, kudu and impala during a trip to South Africa.

In June, there was anger over a sponsored Instagram ad for Australian company High Country Safaris depicting a man holding a rifle while kneeling beside a dead deer.

And just yesterday, the Alberta provincial government announced plans to ban the practice of spearing wildlife after shock over a YouTube video of American Josh Bowmar killing a black bear.

- news.com.au

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