It's one thing to kill a wild beast in self-defense. But it's sick when a tame beast is killed for pleasure.
Taking your partner out for a romantic date isn't anything new. However, this couple's idea of it has the public outraged.
Darren and Carolyn Carter were photographed sharing a kiss as they knelt behind a huge lion they had shot and killed while they were on a “canned hunt” experience in South Africa. This celebration of theirs reminds us of the sickening bloodlust that is involved in trophy hunts.
Part of a tour set up through a company called Legelela Safaris, the Daily Mail reports that they had shot and killed two lions. Both of the pictures were posted on the tour operator's Facebook page which has now been shut down.
The couple hail from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, and own a taxidermy business. Calling themselves "passionate conservationists", they still take part in the "canned" hunts. In the picture of the couple, the tour operator posted the caption, "Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun...well done. A monster lion."
They added another comment in a different post saying, "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...."
However, it wasn't as if the magnificent beasts were wild ones. Experts claim that they were bred in captivity and hence were tame. Linda Park, the owner of Voice 4 Lions in South Africa, insists the white lion pictured was “definitely captive”.
Eduardo Goncalves from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting believes that the lions the couple shot were bred on a lion farm and killed in an enclosure. He added, "There is nothing romantic about killing an innocent animal. It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie. This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras."
Mirror UK spoke to the couple regarding the kiss, to which Darren Carter replied saying, "We aren't interested in commenting on that at all. It's too political." Despite being self-proclaimed "conservationists", the couple's Instagram (now defunct) posts reveal their other kills. There are posts of Darren Carter in front of a black bear and a slain elk.
Sadly enough though, this isn't the only couple who enjoys gruesome opportunities like this. Legelela Safari offers giraffe hunts for $2,700 (£2,400), zebra from $2,250 (£2,000), with prices for leopard, rhino, lion, and elephant hunts available "on request", reports the Daily Mail. They are just one of many companies that offers UK tourists the opportunity to shoot and kill wild animals in natural African habitats. They even arrange for firearm permits and provide weapons ahead of planned hunts, states Express UK.
Legelela Safaris was previously booked as an exhibitor at the Great British Shooting Show in Birmingham in 2020. However, after the public's vocal dissent, the venue banned all firms that sell trips to hunt big game.
This horrifying news comes right after British Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, announced that he would be taking steps towards banning imports of hunting trophies. He also slammed the "canned" hunts saying, “I find it hard to see how those justifications can be used to defend those who ‘hunt’ animals, who have been bred in captivity for the specific purpose of dying for others’ entertainment.”