Aryanna Gourdin is a 12-year-old who is facing much scrutiny after posting photos of her latest hunt in South Africa. In a series of photos, she poses next to a giraffe she had just killed with a hunting rifle. She even made one of these photos her profile picture on Facebook.
“I can assure you, while there are the few poachers out there that think of animals as nothing but targets, and have no regard towards laws or ethics, the majority of those involved with hunting are passionate conservationists, “Aryanna explained after uproar over her photos.
The young girl said she has been around with hunters her entire life. She certainly believes that trophy hunting is an effective way to promote and support animal conservation. She also said trophy hunters have respect for animals; that is why they don’t take a shot “unless they know with 100% certainty that it will be a one shot kill.”
Aryanna also said that when they kill during their hunt, they give away some of the meat that they harvest. In addition, the money spent goes to conservation efforts and the local economy.
“My family have more respect, love and understanding of wildlife than most of you people,” she added.
Aryanna’s passion for trophy hunting possibly grew stronger because of her father, Eli Gourdin. Now working for Bowtech Pro Staff, Eli’s profile reveals he started hunting when he was a boy with his father, and had learned to hunt with a bow when he was 30.
“I do consider myself a beginner, though I have won every competition I’ve entered,” he said.
However, Eli’s life is more complicated than his work profile reveals. According to a report from The Associated Press, Gourdin was locked up in a Utah State Prison in 2000 for operating a meth lab.
As for Aryanna, she had decided to take down her old profile photo (she and the dead giraffe) and replace it with a new one.
“My last profile picture was very offensive to others and I have learned my lesson with that pose, I apologize,” Aryanna had written.
That profile photo had since been replaced with a photo of herself, her dad, her rifle and the dead giraffe.