We’re all still reeling from the brutal killing of beloved Cecil the lion, and our fresh emotional wounds have been ripped open with these horrifying photos showing young boys ages 7 and 9 posing alongside lionesses they have hunted and killed. As if it’s not disturbing enough that children this young are involved in the slaying of these majestic creatures, what they are doing in the photos is as chilling as the carcass they sit beside. One photograph shows one of the boys casually leaning against a freshly killed lioness (with extreme and utter disregard as to the life his family has just taken) to play on his iPad. The other photo shows a boy holding up a rifle in one hand while patting the dead lioness’s back with his other hand. Wrong on so.many.levels.

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Allen Tarpley, from Indiana, is the father of the boys shown in the photographs, and according to Raw Story and Daily Record, he closed his Twitter account @Safarihunter77 once animal rights activists caught wind of the photos he posted of his sons alongside their deceased lionesses. Tarpley had captioned the photo seen above: “My seven-year-old with his first lion.”

While these photos were posted to his social media account over a year ago, they surfaced in the wake of the illegal and unspeakable death of Cecil the lion who was killed by a dentist from Minnesota, Walter Palmer. Cecil’s death sparked global outrage and the Internet was ablaze with harsh words from everyone ranging from the average Joe to Jane Goodall regarding Palmer’s deplorable behavior. The dentist went into hiding and now he himself is being hunted by the public eye — and MSN reports he was spotted here most recently.

In light of these photos, Tarpley promptly shut down his account in an effort to avoid the same fate and harsh criticism Palmer is now experiencing. Tarpley told Daily Mail, “I have not hunted in years, in about three years. We quit hunting… we couldn’t afford it and that’s where I’m at. We did a couple of hunts and that’s it. People can say however they like. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. There’s people that don’t understand hunting and what it does. People don’t understand it.”

That’s one thing you’re right about, Tarpley. We don’t understand.

via Raw Story

Images via Allen Tarpley’s Twitter