Social media has gone wild condemning 12 year old Aryanna Gourdin and her trophy-hunter father, Eli Gourdin, after photos of of Aryanna posing with a giraffe and a zebra that she and her dad killed went viral. The pair traveled from Utah to South Africa to kill the animals, and in response to the huge backlash, her father, Eli Gourdin, told Good Morning America, “We’re proud to be hunters and we’ll never apologize for being a hunter.”
While his daughter appeared to step back from her photo in a Facebook post on August 16 that read, “My last profile picture was very offensive to others and I have learned my lesson with that pose, [sic] I apologize.” Despite this, she said on August 17, “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.”
Meanwhile, her dad was adamant in the Good Morning America interview that the giraffe in question was a problem animal. He says his daughter was encouraged to kill the animal.
It’s Eli Gourdin, not his 12-year old daughter who deserves the condemnation. After all, her father taught her such violence was acceptable, and a “sport.” We hope she can unlearn this cruel, misguided attitude as she gets older.
These stories highlight the need to pass the bill FoA drafted, Cecil’s Law, in New York and other states. A bill that was drafted by Michael Harris, director of our Wildlife Law Program, which would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation in certain states of the African elephant, lion, leopard, and black and white rhinos and their body parts—all threatened and endangered species.
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