Social media storm surrounds Minnesota TV host who posed with dead South African lion

Protesters want her banned from the country

Published November 19, 2013 2:43PM (EST)

       (Screenshot, ABC News)
(Screenshot, ABC News)

Melissa Bachman, a Minnesota TV host famous for her hunting prowess, hit a major nerve with her most recent kill after tweeting about it earlier this month:

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As of this morning, over 250,000 have signed a petition calling for the South African government to ban her from the country. Started by a Cape Town resident, the petition accusing Bachman of being "an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation, this country prides itself on ... As tax payers we demand she no longer be granted access to this country and its natural resources."

South African lions, although classified as a vulnerable species, aren't illegal to hunt. Maori Conservancy, which facilitated the kill (motto: "conservation through sustainable hunting"), complained of getting "a lot of hate mail from all around the world" and defended Bachman on its Facebook page:

We are not apologising for facilitating the hunt. As for all the negative commentary towards us, please consider how much you have contributed to conservation in the past 5 years. If you are not a game farmer and struggling with dying starving animals, poaching and no fences in place to protect your animals and crop, please refrain from making negative degoratory comments. It is so easy to judge if you are staying in cities and towns, buying your meat at 'woolies' and going to game reserves maybe once a year.

The photo isn't even particularly exceptional for Bachman, who on her personal website identifies herself as "one of the most intense and hardcore hunters you will ever meet." And she is, after all, the host of a hunting show. As Huffington Post points out, posing proudly with dead, exotic animals is kind of her thing:

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It's just the kind of thing that people tend to get upset about.

By Lindsay Abrams

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Hunting Lions Social Media South Africa Wildlife