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Spruce Grove couple at centre of social media storm over hunting lion

Delhi News-Record 2019-07-20 06:13:50

Spruce Grove couple at centre of social media storm over hunting lion

The Daily Mirror ran an image of Darren and Carolyn Carter posing with a lion they had purportedly shot on vacation in Africa Sunday.

Published on: July 19, 2019 | Last Updated: July 19, 2019 8:43 PM EDT

The image of the Carter's that has sparked controversy and pushback around the world. Postmedia Network

A British tabloid’s story on a Spruce Grove couple’s hunting activities is generating global controversy.

The Daily Mirror ran an image of Darren and Carolyn Carter posing with a lion they had purportedly shot on vacation in Africa Sunday. The site used it as part of a call to ban trophy hunting and referred to the couple — who run Solitude Taxidermy — as a “sick” pair in what they viewed as a “horrifying” picture.  The image was posted to the page of a South African company called Legelea Safaris, but seems to have been deleted.

Reaction online has been largely negative and similar to the 2015 killing of Cecil the lion by a United States tourist in Zimbabwe. A Calgary resident named Donna Donald said the pair deserved any threats they received and should go into hiding and Spruce Grove’s Christa Forsythe said they were sick people.

Hunting of lions in South Africa — where the pair appear to have gone — is legal to do under South African law. As little as three years ago there were more than 8,000 captive-bred lions in the nation. In addition, the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission has said properly managed hunting can provide revenue and incentives for people to restore and manage wild animal populations.

Edmonton’s John Bavaro said those looking to preserve animals should do so in other ways.

“There are better ways to raise money than that,” he said.

Area resident Naomi Hales defended the pair. She noted it was legal for the hunt to be carried out and urged people to lobby the local government in question if they did not like the practice.

“Lobby the South African government to stop providing licenses,” Hales said.

The Carter’s declined to comment extensively on the response to the picture. A text from the pair Tuesday blasted the media coverage and social responses and encouraged the public to research the issue more.

“We have not done anything wrong and have been discredited who we are as people,” the message read. “Please look at the information on hunting and trophy hunting at the Canadian and American Safari Club International websites. We cannot believe the escalation of this topic and how we are being exploited by a society of uninformed people.”

epretzer@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EvanJPretzer


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