By Amelia Pak-Harvey
The public is in uproar over photos of TV personality Melissa Bachman posing with a hunted lion carcass. The backlash comes right as the US considers whether to list the African lion as an endangered species.
As the US debates whether to list African lions as endangered, a photo of an American hunter and her lion trophy has sparked a record-breaking petition on Change.org.
Celebrity hunter Melissa Bachman, who stars in "Winchester Deadly Passion" on the Pursuit Channel, posted photos on Facebook of her latest kills – which includes an African lion.
The photo drew heaps of criticism from the Internet, provoking the largest animal-related petition on Change.org.
"Melissa Bachman has made a career out of hunting wildlife for pure sport," petition creator Elan Burman writes. The petition calls on South African officials to deny Bachman future entry into the country and has gathered more than 350,000 signatures.
"She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation this country prides itself on," the petition continues. "Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country."
The backlash comes as the US debates whether to list African lions as an endangered species. The species is protected under an international agreement known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Because of this, the US requires a permit from the exporting country in order to import a lion carcass. The national Fish and Wildlife Service also requires an import permit for any animal on the CITES list.
But because African lions aren't protected under the Endangered Species Act, it's still perfectly legal to import, own, or even eat lions, as long as you have the right permit. (US restaurants have featured lion tacos and skewers in the past – despite public criticism.) More....