Aryanna Gourdin and her father Eli appeared on Good Morning Britain to address the furore sparked by the 12-year-old’s Facebook page, which shows her proudly posing with dead wildebeest including giraffe and zebra whilst on an African safari.
Despite the death threats and abuse she has received, Aryanna has vowed never to give up hunting, insisting that she relishes the ability to “put food on our table.”
When asked if they outcry has dissuaded her at all, Aryanna replies: “No, I will always hunt. It’s something that thousands of people in the world do and it’s not going to stop.”
But the schoolgirl appears visibly shocked when Morgan asks her: “How would you feel if I came to your house one day and I hunted down your pet cat and I killed it and I then posted pictures of me celebrating the slaughter of your pet cat?”
“What… I’m not allowed a pet because I hunt?” she replied incredulously.
Gourdin dismisses the matter as a “trick question”, stepping in quickly to add: “That would be your choice because I’ve never killed a pet and most hunters don’t kill pets.
“A giraffe’s not a pet. We would never think to go out and kill somebody’s pet.”
Gourdin, who like his daughter was wearing a ‘Stand up to anti-hunter bullying’ T-shirt, puts the threats and anger being directed at his daughter, down to “lack of education”, adding: “People don’t understand the conservation aspect of it and what it actually did for the population of giraffes on that piece of property.”
When Morgan points out it is the apparently glorifying behaviour that Aryanna indulges in (such as holding aloft the heart of the giraffe she has just slaughtered) that prompts such offence, the pair insist “true” hunters always feel remorse upon the death of an animal.
Posing with the animal’s heart, Gourdin says, is a tribal “thing” that was “requested by the natives”. Claiming he also posted pictures of Aryanna saying a prayer for the dead giraffe, he added: “But people choose to ignore it.”
Persisting, Morgan asks: “But why the triumphalism, why rub people’s noses in it? Why not quietly get on with your hunting? Don’t parade in such a manner, and particularly, don’t parade your young daughter.”
Gourdin remains steadfast, answering on her behalf: “She’s proud of it. She’s proud of the accomplishment. She wanted to share it with those who do want to see it. If you don’t want to see it you don’t have to look at that social media page.
“I won’t stop her.”