Minnesota TV host of Winchester Deadly Passion, Melissa Bachman incurred the wrath of the global conservation community when she posted a tweet on November 13 depicting her triumphantly sitting over a large, male African lion that she had just shot and killed. Bachman added the caption, “An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!”

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Bachman has made a name for herself as a big game hunter, adding numerous pictures to her website of her smiling over a menagerie of dead creatures. This latest incident angered many in South Africa, sparking petitions and global media coverage. A Change.org petition has gathered over 260,000 signatures to ban her from entering the country. African lions are currently considered “vulnerable,” one step above “endangered” under international law.

As ABC news reports, Bachman’s hunt was made possible by the Maroi Conservancy, which whole-heartedly stands by their client. Since lions do not occur naturally in their area, they had to contact an outside source to provide the big cat for Bachman. They insist that the lion was not drugged, that all permits and requirements were in place, and that sustainable hunting aids in their conservation work.

Experts assert that even though the kill was legal, eliminating a male lion from a pride can be catastrophic if not well-managed. Once a dominant male like the one Bachman shot is removed, other males move in and can kill a full generation of cubs inside the group. Although hunters can contribute up to $125,000 for the opportunity to bag a lion, they could also be disturbing an already delicate balance.

+ Melissa Bachman

Via Huffington Post