The Internet at large is boiling over with outrage over a new trophy hunting photo circulating on Facebook. The picture shows a Canadian couple kissing as they pose with a lion they have just killed in South Africa. To many, this is a bizarre display of cruelty.
The couple in question is Darren and Carolyn Carter, hailing from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. They were pictured on a trip to South Africa where they signed on with Legelela Safaris, a firm offering trophy hunts for tourists. According to a report by the Daily Mail, they charge just over $3,000 for these massive undertakings.
The company often shares photos of happy customers posing with their quarry. Something about the Carters' photo did not sit well with viewers, however, and it soon went viral on other platforms as well.
That's it lady, an arrow for each monster... 😭🦁❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/TjP7H7zLpG— Sudeep Singh Bilkhu (@singh_bilkhu) July 15, 2019
"Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun... well done. A monster lion," read the Legelela Safari caption on the post. "There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle in the sands of the Kalahari. Well done to the happy huntress and the team."
As the photos from the hunt circulated on social media, animal lovers and conservationists reacted with horror. Many denounced the entire practice of big game hunting and trophy hunting, as well as the Carters themselves. In particular, their kiss over the lion's remains seemed to strike a sour chord with many viewers.
"A shocking photo of this cruel and smug couple alongside this beautiful lion," one person tweeted. "The sooner game hunting is banned the better. I went on safari to South Africa this year and saw lions - they are magnificent animals."
A Mirror front page I wholeheartedly agree with! Trophy hunting is sick. Photos like this of people posing with corpses of magnificent animals they’ve just shot are barbaric & cruel. Will never understand it. pic.twitter.com/X2JOZR2KOB— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) July 14, 2019
"Kiss of death from disgraceful couple who have money but don't know how to use it," added another. "This is expected from rich with no heart and no sense! Tell them to go and learn from Bill Gates and his wife how to spend money on preserving life and destroying it!!"
The Carters' photo was so resonant it even sparked a renewed call to end trophy hunting altogether, even outside of the usual conservationist circles. The Mirror published editorials on why the practice should be stopped, with the Carters' photo on the front page.
The Carters reportedly run a taxidermy business when they are not on vacation, though they describe themselves as "passionate conservationists." Darren Carter told reporters that they "aren't interested in commenting on that at all. It's too political."