Aryanna Gourdin: 12-Year-Old Girl Photographed With Dead Giraffe Vows To ‘Never Stop Hunting’

Aryanna Gourdin, a 12-year-old Utah girl who was photographed next to a giraffe she had just killed, have vowed to “never stop hunting,” despite outrage and even calls for her parents to be investigated by child welfare authorities, The Telegraph is reporting.

Aryanna became something of an international villainess in early August after she posted several photos of herself, her family members, and others in her hunting party posing next to various animals she’d killed. In one photo, she poses, exultant, next to a dead impala, a pink bow and arrow resting on its corpse. In another, she poses with her hunting party next to the corpse of a giraffe.

Gourdin’s photos have sparked outrage, according to theT Mirror, up to and including death threats aimed at the girl and her parents.

“I hope that in time you take into consideration that you actually physically hurt that poor defenseless giraffe and ended its life. I hope you learn to love every living creature for ur [sic] own sake and theirs… I feel shame for you and I don’t even know you. I hope you feel ashamed of yourself as well and learn to change and do better things with your ‘dad.'”

Others have called for Utah authorities to investigate the family for possible child-welfare violations.

Gourdin, for her part, is taking all of that criticism with more than a few grains of salt.

“I’m a hunter and no matter what people say to me I’m never going to stop,” she said in a recent interview with an American news channel. It’s something that I cherish and enjoy and I want other people to see what I’ve been able to experience. I want other women and youth to get into the hunting experience… it’s awesome.”

And as for the giraffe she killed and posed with, Aryanna says that he was an aggressive, mature bull who was dangerous to the rest of the herd. By killing him, she says, she freed up resources that the bull would have claimed and defended for himself.

Aryanna’s dad, Eli, also defended his daughter and his family.

“We’re proud to be hunters and we will never apologize.”

Big-game hunting — particularly in Africa — is, depending on whom you ask, either a cruel and indefensible sport practiced by wealthy individuals with more money than decency; or an ancient and time-honored tradition that brings much-needed money and jobs to poverty-stricken regions, as well as contributing to responsible wildlife management.

What is beyond dispute is that big-game hunting is big money. You can purchase a 10-day lion-hunting trip – complete with guides, bait, traps, and everything else – for about $49,000; a 10-day elephant-hunting trip will set you back $20,000.

By some estimates, legal and semi-legal big-game hunting in Africa can bring in as much as $344 million. Various animal rights and humane societies estimate that that money has come at the cost of 32,500 lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards between 2005 and 2014.

Claims that big-game hunting is actually good for wildlife are disputed. Masha Kalinina, from Human Society International, tells the Daily Mail that any gains from big-game hunting are short-term at best.

“Trophy hunting is cruel and does nothing to support conservation in Africa. Trophy hunting is short-term financial gain for long-term loss, not just for the animal kingdom but also because killing off charismatic species deprives local economies of ecotourism ­opportunities.”

Back in Utah, none of that seems to matter to Aryanna Gourdin; she’s already fielding offers from other big-game hunters to join them on their next hunts.

Do you support Aryanna Gourdin’s vow to never stop hunting?

[Image via Facebook]