Elephant Kills Hunter, Internet Cheers
The web loves a good irony or outrage, but does it really care?
In a week that saw the Internet direct its self-righteous rancor at the sport of big game hunting, nature itself has lashed out against rifle-toting sportsmen.
Professional big game hunter and guide Ian Gibson was killed by a young bull elephant in Zimbabwe as he scouted for lions for an American client to shoot. Sources say it appears the bull charged him, and, after being shot at least once at close range, kneeled on Gibbons, crushing him to death.
Exact details are still forthcoming, as Gibson’s client and entourage are “too traumatized” to talk about it. The group had already bagged a leopard.
Not surprisingly, the grim irony of a hunter being killed by his potential prey has left the internet cheering, as millions of armchair activists bask in what they see as a bit of poetic justice. Pro-hunting supporters quickly joined the fight, and the morally-charged shouting match continues in the comments section of all the outlets carrying the story.
This event comes just days after comedian Ricky Gervais Tweeted a picture of American hunter Rebecca Francis laying next to a giraffe she shot five years ago to his 7.59 million followers.
The resulting firestorm of criticism has turned into a vicious back and forth between Gervais, his supporters, and the hunting community, who claim he is singling out female hunters for abuse. Similarly, last year Texas cheerleader and wannabe hunting reality show starlet Kendall Jones received the same scathing treatment from the anonymous masses when images she posted to Facebook of herself posing with lions, rhinos, and tigers she had shot.
She never did get the show, but she does have a popular YouTube channel.
Does this situational vehemence lend itself to constructive conversation around issues such as big game trophy hunting? Or is it, as Joe Randazzo said in his piece here at the Beast entitled “I’m Glad All the Black Rhinos are Dead,” simply click-bait, soapboxing at its worst?
Leave you thoughts in the comments below.