The couple pictured in the now viral photo, Darren and Carolyn Carter from Edmonton, Alberta, were taking part in a tour, conducted by Legelela Safaris in South Africa.
While the world is at a dangerous point where endangered animals continue to be slaughtered, a couple shared a kiss in front of a "trophy" from their hunting trip, a magnificent lion they had heartlessly slaughtered. The brazen act has undoubtedly shocked the world. And it has also affected the man's relationship with his daughter, who seems unimpressed with her father for taking pride in "shooting a beautiful animal like a lion".
The couple pictured in the now viral photo, Darren and Carolyn Carter from Edmonton, Alberta, were taking part in a tour, conducted by Legelela Safaris in South Africa. And as part of it, they were given the opportunity to shoot and forcibly take away the life of a creature. With no remorse and zero guilt, the couple proudly kiss in front of the dead lion, and shared the photo with a caption, "Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun...well done. A monster lion," as reported by the Daily Mail. There were other photos also posted that show the same couple in Kalahari, captioned, "There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle in the sands of the Kalahari."
Many on social have been expressing anger over the brazenness of the couple to post photos on social media with the slaughtered animal's body. The outrage surrounding this incident has also highlighted another disturbing fact—that there are still organizations that conduct safaris for people willing to pay to have wild animals confined to a certain area and hunted down in the name of a sport.
Apart from posing next to the helpless animal's remains and bragging about it on social media, they can even take parts of the body back as hunting trophies, according to Mirror. When Darren was asked about the hunt and the picture that followed, he said, “We aren’t interested in commenting on that at all. It’s too political.”
The couple, who own a taxidermy business, refer to themselves as “passionate conservationists”. However, others are thinking quite differently about their act. “I’m appalled and disgusted by this so-called ‘sport’," said ITV star Lorraine Kelly. "I’ve been lucky enough to visit Africa many times and see these beautiful wild animals. I’d like my grandchildren to be able to do the same some day."
People on Twitter, too, were far from impressed.
I am thoroughly disgusted and appalled at these people. This is all for sport and it is absolutely disgusting. This has to stop now!— Oilergirl (@Sherwoodparkuke) July 14, 2019
How vile 😠 Trophy “hunting” is cowardly; slaughtering a creature for the thrill of it is psychopathic which likely explains why this couple wanted to pose & kiss over the dead body of the lion they killed. How romantic 🤮 https://t.co/O01Yp4jp6u— Miranda Anthistle (@Mirandanthistle) July 16, 2019
When Darren's daughter, Sydney, found out about what her father had done, she was appalled to the point of not wanting to call him her dad anymore. "I refuse to call him my dad anymore, who does that?" Sydney said in an emotional YouTube video. "I will never understand people like that - who take pride in shooting a beautiful animal like a lion. I’ll never understand it."
Sitting on the bathroom floor, she talked about how she hasn't met her father in 10 years after Darren cheated on her mother years ago. Sydney also mentioned about how he cut off child support and wasn't willing to offer any money for her education, but was willing to spend over $15,000 (£12,000) for trophy hunting.
“So, Darren, if you’re ever watching this, just know that I don’t call you my dad anymore. You are a horrible person," Sydney said. “Knowing you trophy hunt beautiful animals like lions, who are slowly becoming endangered, is just… it’s too much. I’m someone who loves animals and wouldn’t want anyone to hurt them, and to know that my own father does that – I don’t even consider you my dad anymore."
This wasn't the first time Darren posted a picture with his partner, Carolyn Carter, next to different wild animals who are slowly slipping into danger. There are other photos of the couple with thhe animals they've killed on a hunt. And Sydney is sickened to think about it and doesn't want anything to do with her father anymore.
As strange at it sounds, it is still legal to hunt animals in certain parts of Africa. The ban on hunting elephants was also recently lifted in Botswana after five years, according to National Geographic, despite many conservationists standing against it. After killing these majestic creatures, hunters are allowed to take away and travel to some countries like the UK, with parts of lions, elephants, and leopards to keep as trophies at home. Hunters believe that it's a matter of pride to steal from the heart of nature and bring something back home to brag about, and now even doing something heinous like kissing behind the carcass of a dead animal.
“There is nothing romantic about killing an innocent animal. It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie," said Eduardo Goncalves, who is part of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and condemned the act. "This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras."