What was initially a “dream hunt” for a 12-year-old girl has turned into something else.
ABC News reports Aryanna Gourdin recently posted a picture posing next to a dead zebra with a bow and arrow. The picture, and kill, came on a hunt that took the Utah native and her father, Eli Gourdin, to South Africa earlier this month.
“It’s something I cherish and enjoy, and I want other people to see what I experienced,” Gourdin said in an interview with Good Morning America.
The photo posted Aug. 6 remains on the “Aryanna Gourdin – Braids and Bows” Facebook page and has more than 7,000 shares and 11,000 comments. Many comments ignore Gourdin’s age and attack her character, including the top comment (which has more than 2,000 likes) reading, “Your dream is to kill a zebra. While others is just to be able to feed and take care of one. I think your mind is a little (explictive) up.”
Other comments include calling Gourdin “a dangerous psychopath,” “poorly raised” and a “wasteful coward.” Many also told the 12-year-old she should kill herself.
However, Gourdin also received supportive comments, many by hunters who supported the sport and Gourdin’s successful kill.
Still, on Aug. 15, Gourdin posted an apology alongside a picture of herself, her father and a giraffe (taken on the same hunt). The apologize reads, “My last profile picture was very offensive to others and I have learned my lesson with that pose. I apologize.”
Gourdin attempted multiple times to defend her actions. She posted that the giraffe killed was older and eating resources that younger giraffes needed to survive and that the meat was donated to local villages, where it will feed 800 orphans. However, any logic or reason posted on the Facebook page was ignored by those that chose Gourdin is and will forever be guilty.
Despite the hateful comments, the 12-year-old said nothing has changed with her love for hunting.
“I would never back down from hunting,” she told Good Morning America. “I am a hunter, and no matter what people say to me I’m never going to stop.”