WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A female hunter has been condemned online for posting images on social media of a mountain lion she killed, her hands covered in blood.
The hunter from the US state of Colorado was called out by a local non-profit organisation that seeks to protect wildlife.
Franchesca Esplin took to her Facebook page to post video and photos from a recent hunt where she targeted and killed a mountain lion.
According to the post, which featured images of the dead animal and her own bloody hands and clothing, the hunt has been ‘at the top of [Esplin’s] bucket list’ and put the hunter ‘on cloud nine’.
Now Prairie Protection Colorado is calling this behaviour a ‘trophy kill,’ which they believe should be illegal.
According to Deanna Meyer, executive director of Prairie Protection Colorado, trophy kills are characterised by the ‘complete glee and elation [expressed by hunters] at the kills that they’ve performed’, and go against the ethical means of hunting, which should be for survival and food.
“I do not find anything wrong at all with ethical hunting,” Ms Meyer said, explaining that she’s lived off of wild food for 25 years.
“To me, that doesn’t include selfies of the dead animal with laughing and elation.”
When the pictures illustrating Ms Esplin’s excitement over her own kill were reposted onto Prairie Protection Colorado’s Facebook page, Ms Meyer explained that most of her organisation’s followers agreed.
People said Ms Esplin was a ‘sick witch’ and she displayed ‘pure psychopathic evil’.
However, Ms Meyer assured the photos weren’t posted to target Ms Esplin — Ms Meyer hadn’t even identified the hunter — but instead to make a bigger point.
“It’s not Franchesca that I’m after, although I think that her behaviour and mentality is deplorable. But it’s not her. It’s the whole mentality that goes behind hunters,” Ms Meyers said.
“Our goal is to educate people and then hopefully go through the long process of changing legislation, and to try to protect what we have left of our predator species.”
Ms Meyer’s organisation currently has a petition with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to make the hunting of bobcats and mountain lions illegal.
Although there hasn’t been much progress yet, she hopes that images like Ms Esplin’s spur a societal change of attitude.
Ms Esplin didn’t respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.