Twelve-Year-Old Girl From Utah Causes International Uproar Over Hunting Images


We have previously discussed trophy hunters who kill and pose with dead animals.  We recently followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota. There were other trophy hunting stories that enraged people around the world. (here and here and here) Then there was Josh Bowman who has been denounced around the world for his video from Alberta, Canada as he celebrated the slow killing of a bear with a spear.  Now a 12-year-old named Aryanna Gourdin from Utah has posted a series of highly controversial pictures with dead animals and expressed her love for killing animals.  One picture shows her holding a giraffe’s heart.

37B61DF100000578-3764920-image-m-69_1472554894431Once again, I have never understood why it is such an accomplishment to kill such a harmless animal like a giraffe or zebra or to revel in the death of a beautiful animal like those displayed in these photos.

Notably, Mark Martineau and Jason Hansen, who run hunting expeditions and organized Aryanna and her father’s trip to Africa, love the pictures of the carnage and the desire to kill as many animals as possible.  They have Josh and Sarah Bowmar to join in killing lions despite the international outcry over the hunts.

I have many friends who are hunters and they would be equally appalled by these displays. Indeed, some of the loudest critics of the Bowmars came from hunters.  These twisted images have particularly shocked the world due to the involvement of a young girl who relishes killed animals like giraffes and then posing with their dead bodies and organs.

Giraffe-girl-1In my years of backpacking and hiking, I have never had a desire to kill the magnificent animals that I have seen in the wild to some how possess them.  I certainly could not imagine rejoicing like Bowmar in slicing open a bear and allowing it to die a painful death (possibly over the course of hours). I also do not consider hunting with a spear to be particularly brave when your hunting party is behind you with high powered rifles.  Shooting a zebra like the one in some of these pictures is like sneaking up on a horse and blowing it away.  I fail to see the sport in that.  While Gourdin professes a “love” for the animals, she rejoices in their dead bodies.

89 thoughts on “Twelve-Year-Old Girl From Utah Causes International Uproar Over Hunting Images”

  1. Child, please don’t do this.
    My father introduced me to guns for useless hunting, unless your hunting for food it is not needed.
    Better keep your guns to protect from people, or opertuistic government.
    Maybe not now, but some day you’ll regret this.
    Please don’t hunt any more.
    I speak from the same heart as you.


  2. The OP and most of the responses are idiot morality and hypocrisy on display.

    That giraffe likely died better than most of the meat at the grocery store.

  3. I’m a gun owner and I do a little hunting and some target shooting. I do think that what happened here is over the top.

  4. I was brought up with, and taught my kids the same ethic. I have hunted, but never took pictures of my food. Kill only for food or defense. Perhaps an evolutionary psychologist can explain the need for photos, but to me it is disrespectful to the animal.

  5. It is amazing how so much ignorance can be displayed, and so much hate can be spewed at a 12 year old because of it. There are so many assumptions being made of a couple pictures it is scary. Nobody here knows anything about this hunt or what went into it. It is possible this giraffe had a hind leg tied to a tree so this girl could shoot it, but the reality is there is a lot more to these “trophy” hunts than most here realize. Whole books have been written on the subject so I am not going into detail about it. Unfortunately bigots choose to hate based on a few pics or a few seconds of video. I have never hunted in Africa, but would in a heartbeat if the opportunity came up. I have never considered hunting a giraffe, but I don’t know why a giraffe is any more sacred than any other animal, and under the right conditions I probably would. It is just about guaranteed the meat from this animal goes to the local tribe, who is also employed by the professional hunter. As for the heart, for all anyone knows that was dinner that night. The heart is the first thing eaten when there is a kill by one of my family or friends.
    As for the bear, it was hunted under legal circumstances with a perfectly lethal weapon. The hit was a little far back from perfect, and it is very common for a waiting period in that case because an animal that is pursued right away may keep it’s adrenaline up and go farther and suffer longer than one that is left alone. I was not impressed by the hunter’s reaction, but that is his business. In this case a bear that went only 60 yards was dead before the idiot quit dancing around.
    Virtually all hunting these days is “trophy” hunting. The cost of the license, tags, additional stamps, makes hunting for subsistence nearly impossible. This doesn’t include equipment and all the other things that go along with it. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. I hope to get out for dove hunting this weekend, but the migratory bird stamp alone cost more than the meat I will get out of what I kill. So why do people hunt? Because we enjoy the process. The last two elk I killed are good examples of the misconceptions about trophy vs meat hunting. The first of the two was with a longbow I had built for me. After learning I was drawn I practiced until I could hit the vitals in a deer sized target at any angle I wanted to out to 35 yards. I had a scab on my cheek from my middle finger on my release. I spent weeks out scouting where I wanted to hunt. I stalked three bulls in the first days of the hunt with no shot. On the third morning I arrowed this bull at 17 yards. He ran and was dead in 70. Stone dead. Less than 10 seconds. He was not a large elk, but my goal was hunting with a long bow and I accomplished that. Had any of the larger bulls in the area given me the same shot I would have taken it. It is hard to describe how you can feel happiness and sorrow all at once unless you have hunted. My friend was behind me when I shot. My dad, my other friend, an his son were watching on a hill and soon came down. We took pictures, but there was no mocking. The bull was butchered and he was eaten. Heart first. His horn and hide are displayed in my home. They are as much a tribute to him as anything. That was a trophy hunt.
    A number of years passed. I started making my own bows. I was drawn twice for bull, but never got a clean shot. In 2015, I was now married with a baby. I did not have time to scout, or build a new bow, but I didn’t want to not hunt, and wanted a good chance to put some meat in the freezer for the first time in quite a while so I put in for rifle cow. (That is still an elk for the uninitiated.) I got drawn and when the season came, I basically went to where I knew there were elk, waited for them to show themselves, and shot one. I walked up on her and she was still alive and trying to get up. My shot was just a little farther forward than ideal, but still well within the vitals. The problem was she was laying in a pile of rock and I was not going to chance a shot with a 308, so I necked her down and cut her throat. It still took close to a minute for her to die. There was no happiness. That was hunting for meat. If anyone can give me one good reason why the latter is so much more righteous than the former I would love to hear it.

    1. Thanks. You’ll get no logical replies out of this bunch. I also hunted cow many times, I like elk meat and fed the family with elk and deer. She moved just as I squezed the trigger, the shot went just a few inches off severing the spine instead of the neck. When I finished her with my .357 I apologized for the bad shot and thanked her for the meat. Only proper and the Indian way. Many that have no knowledge and know nothing about nothing will never understand.

    2. Clint, thank you for sharing about your culture and experience, something many of us know very little about. I learned from reading your post.

  6. The content of HRC’s speeches to Wall St. have a greater impact on my life right now than the fate of some unlucky giraffe killed by a tween from Utah.

    My suggestion is let’s skip this distraction and focus on what really affects our daily well being and the future of our country.

  7. I have a cousin who went on an organized lion hunt, and a safari. The animals he killed were given to several villages for meat. I have friends who hunt elk and deer, then butcher and freeze the meat. They live on it. I find it repulsive, but they aren’t throwing it away as trash.

  8. As a parent, I will just voice my extreme objection to the pedophile advocating sexual relations with children under 13. People with mental illnesses do not understand they are ill. Which makes them very dangerous when their prey are children.

  9. I had an airhead moment and posted the following under the wrong thread:

    I forgot to add that the original killer whale in captivity was caught due to a botched attempt to kill one on commission for the Vancouver Aquarium. They needed a dead whale for a sculptor to use as a model. They harpooned a young whale, but it didn’t die. It’s pod mates lifted it to the surface so it could breathe. They shot it, but it wouldn’t die. It was whistling so shrilly that accounts said that it could be heard hundreds of feet away, above the surface of the water. So they dragged it by the harpoon for over 15 hours, through choppy seas, as the family pod finally fell behind. Then it became this most wonderful sensation and tourist attraction.

    And there are a lot of stuffed, dead animals with which we photograph our kids. How were they obtained? They do not look old and grizzled. Are we all paying money to see trophy kills? Don’t have the answer to that. And then, of course, there are the scientists who kill hundreds and hundreds of animals for scientific study, or merely for mounting as anatomical studies for students.

    I do not like trophy hunting. But I am uncomfortably aware that there is a bit of hypocrasy in my opinion.

    1. Rephrase KCF, ” Just as my side wrongly argued in rejecting gay marriage, the next step was polygamy and now online adultophiles openly advocating adultophilia.”

      Moral: “If you don’t know It – don’t knock it.”

  10. Under 13s have the mental/moral/emotional ability to CONSENT to commit crimes and be caged for causing PAIN to animals and ADULT VICTIMS!

    So, it’s OBVIOUS they have the same ability to CONSENT to mere benign seXual PLEASURE with kind adults creating NO VICTIMS!

    Kill dumb ignorance not innocent animals!!

    1. willistina556 wrote: “Under 13s have the mental/moral/emotional ability to CONSENT to commit crimes and be caged for causing PAIN to animals and ADULT VICTIMS! So, it’s OBVIOUS they have the same ability to CONSENT to mere benign seXual PLEASURE with kind adults creating NO VICTIMS!”

      Like alcoholism and drug addiction, sexual immorality hurts the people engaging in it. It is not victimless. The perpetrator and the victim are both the same.

  11. @TIN

    re: “That kid is demented. I wouldn’t go to sleep under the same roof as her. If I told her she couldn’t go to the Mall, her next Facebook post would be a pic of my heart in her hands. Chilling!”

    Reminds me of Squeek’s bad seed theory.

  12. There is also a thriving trade in taxidermy, which I consider a type of trophy hunting. If you go to the shops in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you can buy a grey wolf, a white fox, a hawk, a bunny rabbit…whatever. I want to cry, but a lot of people do seem to like decorating their homes with dead stuffed animals. On the other hand, natural history museums are full of dead, stuffed animals that people pay to go see in wonder. I have to acknowledge that.

  13. When someone kills a particularly large elk or moose, and they have food to fill their freezer and to share, they can be intensely proud of that primal accomplishment of bringing home food.

    If your third world village is starving, and the hunter returns with enough food to feed everyone, there would be the thankful rejoicing of the certain knowledge that at least for a while, everyone eats.

    I just don’t get the urge to just go out and kill trophy animals. Perhaps it is the thrill of being able to touch a (dead) wild, exotic creature you could never get up close to alive. To actually feel their coat. Or mount it and be able to look at it anytime, as in a natural history museum. But it does not have a survival purpose.

    There are people who love trophy hunting, but it’s never been something I’ve understood. I’ve heard that some trophy hunting establishments donate the meat to local villages, sometimes licenses are given to control over population, and some do work on conservation. But the entire premise has been a bit of a mystery to me.

    I’m not a hunter myself, but I support hunting game as the ultimate organic meat, fed a natural diet, and that lived wild with no filthy feed lots or frightening long trip through the slaughterhouse. Trophy hunting is just not for me, regardless of whether the animal is not endangered. And I’ve never understood posing with dead animals. Even when it’s been killed for food, a dead animal is sad. It’s sacrifice should be honored, not mocked.

    1. Karen – what is the joy in being the fastest man or woman alive? Or the thrill of winning the Stanley Cup? Or doing a triple backflip off the 3 meter board?

      Even the minor joy of getting a D+ instead of a D on a test.

      1. The difference in your examples of accomplishment and trophy hunting is that nothing has to die in the process of winning those prizes.

        I could see awarding a trophy for killing the most burglars or armed robbers or something similar while they were (illegally) going about their business to make a living, but somehow nobody ever suggests something like that as being a good idea. Letting people hunt beautiful wild animals when there is no practical reason for it is just appealing the one of the worst aspects of human nature. Perhaps if the trophy hunter had to contribute a few hundred hours toward maintaining and improving the environment (especially that of their intended prey) in order to earn the privilege of hunting . . . but then they might gain more respect for the animals and lose interest in the hunt.

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