On February 14, Merelize Van Der Merwe, a 32-year-old South African hunter, uploaded a couple of photos to her Facebook account posing proudly with the heart of a giraffe in her hands.
Netizens were quick to show their outrage at the gruesome images.
The woman does not retract her behavior, because, as she wrote in the description, “I am absolutely happy with my Valentine’s gift”.
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Merwe posted several posts on February 13 hunting a 17-year-old giraffe in northern South Africa.
The woman said that since 2016, she had searched for an older black giraffe to hunt as a trophy, but, she said, none ‘met’ her expectations.
In 2017, she found a specimen that she considered ideal. However, one of her hunting friends killed the animal before the woman could ‘buy’ the life of the giraffe.
Between 2019 and 2020 Merelize was on the verge of giving up on the idea until, two weeks before Valentine’s Day this year, a friend contacted her to announce that she had her desired giraffe: black and elderly.
The woman claimed that Gerhardt Nell, her husband, had booked a room at a hotel in Sun City, a luxurious hotel complex, to celebrate that special date.
But the news of the discovery of the animal upset the plans.
The hunter’s friend got 1,500 pounds sterling (approximately 7.5 million pesos) to be able to track the giraffe in the middle of some bushes and kill it with bullets. On the day of the hunt, Merwe uploaded several photos along with the carcass of the animal.
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After that, he attached a video of shooting the giraffe in the neck. After the creature was lying on the ground, he approached and gave it a second shot that ended its life.
“I was literally like a little girl for 2 weeks and I counted the days. Then I was filled with emotions because I have been waiting years for this opportunity, ”he said without remorse.
Then I was filled with emotions because I have been waiting years for this opportunity
The woman, with more than 97,000 followers on Facebook, received all kinds of criticism and comments from outraged people, although there were also those who supported her practice.
She called the animal activists and those who gave her accolades “unchained liberals.”
“I am not afraid of criticism, especially the activists for animal rights who still live with mother (…) they go to the supermarket and buy their meat because no animal gets hurt there,” he wrote.
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According to the English portal ‘Daily Mirror’, Merwe is a well-known hunter who it has killed at least 500 animals in its lifetime, including lions, leopards and elephants.
She has that lifestyle under the belief that trophy hunting helps conserve species, because, as she often states on social media, it eliminates the oldest animals from the population while providing funds for conservation.
For their part, animal activists say this practice encourages people to raise animals for sport, disrupting ecosystems and damaging the environmental balance.
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