Merelize van der Merwe holding the heart of the giraffe. PHOTO: Facebook
A South African farm owner has been strongly criticised after posing with the heart of a giraffe she shot and killed during a trophy hunting trip earlier this month.
In a series of photos posted on Merelize van der Merwe’s Facebook page, the 32-year-old was shown clutching the bloodied organ.
“Ever wondered how big a giraffe's heart is?” she wrote in a caption. “I'm absolutely over the moon with my BIG valentine present!!!”
In a separate Facebook post Van Der Merwe, who said she had been waiting to hunt a “big black giraffe bull” since 2016, was pictured holding a gun next to the lifeless body of a large giraffe.
“I've hunted more animals than I can count but I still get excited every single time,” she said.
The trip, organised by her husband as a Valentine’s Day present, took place near Sun City, northwest of Johannesburg.
Describing the giraffe, Van Der Merwe said: “I couldn't believe my eyes, BIG BLACK and OLD, so old that he was way over his time and the owner didn't know if he will last another 3 months!!!
“My wonderful husband knew this was my dream and fully supported me from a romantic 5 star weekend away to roughing it again in the heat and bush.
“I was literally like a little child for 2 weeks and counted down the days.”
After killing the 17-year-old giraffe – a species the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as “vulnerable” –Van Der Merwe said she was “flooded with emotions as I've been waiting years to have this opportunity!!”
She claimed killing the animal would mean “a new bull can take over and provide new strong genetics for the herd.”
Her posts were strongly criticised in dozens of comments left on her Facebook page.
“I am completely SHOCKED by what you did to one of the most humble, endearing and beautiful animals on the planet,” wrote one. “Shame on you,” said another.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group has previously described Van Der Merwe’s Facebook posts as “disgraceful” and launched a petition to have her account removed by the social media giant.
Larysa Switlyk boasted of posting the pictures of herself standing next to a 60-year-old crocodile and commented on the picture, " Excuse me while I shop for a New Purse."
As soon as the tram approached, the young man sat on the chair, and lit a cigarette.
In detail, a video footage showed the strange phenomenon of water mist flying upwards from the strength of the strong winds that hit Sydney in Australia.
A video showed members of the Jewish delegation abruptly leave the scene as the audience started applauding the Emir of Qatar.
In implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the follow-up of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and President of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works, the Foundation launched the first stages of operating the largest hospital in Shabwa Governorate in Yemen
A Community Development Authority in Dubai-licensed Filipino organisation has pushed back its 124th Philippine Independence Day festivities to June 25 (Saturday), in respect of the 40-day mourning period of the host government, on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.