Angry Twitter users are firing back at Melissa Bachman after a photo of the huntress posing with a recently killed lion went viral.
Bachman, who stars in the hunting show “Deadly Passion” on the specialty network Pursuit Channel, found herself the target of vicious death wishes and obscenity-laced insults on Monday as critics on Twitter, YouTube and other social networks blasted the Minnesotan for her boastful hunting escapades.
The photo in question, posted to her Facebook page on Nov. 1, shows a smiling Bachman posing with a rifle as a lion carcass lies in the dirt beneath her. “An incredible day hunting in South Africa,” the caption reads. “Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion...what a hunt!”
The photo, accompanied by similar photos of Bachman posing with slain deer, bears and other wildlife, went relatively unnoticed until last week, when a petition on Change.org launched by Cape Town resident Elan Burman helped bring attention to it. Signed by more than 156,000 people, the petition is calling on the South African government to deny Bachman future entry into the country. The hunt reportedly took place on a legal safari near the town of Musina.
Nevertheless, upon seeing the photo, many incensed Twitter users lost all sense of civility. (Fair warning: the following tweets contain explicit content.)
â€” laksmi (@dudatanure) November 18, 2013
@MelissaBachman you are going to die a horrible death, I hope a lion rips your f**king head off you sick c**t
â€” Rubens (@robbiecox0) November 18, 2013
@MelissaBachman is a heartless bitch. Hope a pride of lions get their revenge on the cow.
â€” Papa Blink (@ArcaMonolith) November 18, 2013
@MelissaBachman I would pay money to see a lion tear you apart slowly. Would love to see you suffer.
â€” Haydn Gawronsky (@gawronsky) November 14, 2013
â€” Carlos Alcaraz (@alcaraz_carlos) November 18, 2013
â€” Bobbie (@Bobbie_Barnett) November 18, 2013
@MelissaBachman you're a f**king vile human being who serves no purpose on this planet, and to top it off, you're ugly too.
â€” Luke; (@LukeSinden) November 18, 2013
As the backlash ensued, Bachman appeared to temporarily take her Twitter account private, protecting her tweets from public view. But the account has since been made public again. Bachman hasn’t tweeted since the brouhaha began, nor has she responded publicly.
As of Monday afternoon, Bachman’s official Facebook page appeared to have been either deleted or made private. In the meantime, dueling Facebook pages both supporting and condemning the hunter have since popped up in its place. “Stop Melissa Bachman,” created on Thursday, has attracted more than 105,000 likes, while a page called “Show Support for Melissa Bachman and Resist Anti-Hunting Abuse,” created in October 2012, has attracted just over 10,600 likes.
Bachman reportedly shot the lion on South Africa’s Maroi Conservancy. On its Facebook page Saturday, the conservancy said it has been receiving hate mail from around the world in response to Bachman’s high-profile hunt, which it defended vigorously:
“We do ethical hunting and all meat from animals hunted is distributed to the local community. Funds generated from hunting goes towards fixing the border fence that was washed away in the 2013 floods; combating poaching which is excessive in this area due to close proximity to Zimbabwe and running a sustainable conservancy. We have lost 2 eland, 4 giraffes and numerous other animals in the past 2 months that were killed by spears and dogs. We control our game numbers to prevent starvation of animals.”
Bachman is no stranger to criticism. In August 2012, the National Geographic Channel dropped her from a planned appearance on the reality show “Ultimate Survivor Alaska” in response to fierce blowback from animal-rights advocates who deemed her a “heartless trophy hunter.”