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Outrage after photo shows 'conservationist' couple kissing to celebrate killing 'monster' lion in South Africa

Darren and Carolyn Carter, of Edmonton, Alberta, made the kill while they were taking part in a trip run by South African company Legelela Safaris
UPDATED JUL 15, 2019

A Canadian couple angered the internet after they were snapped kissing in front of a lion they had just killed during a trophy hunt in the Kalahari desert.

Darren and Carolyn Carter, of Edmonton, Alberta, made the kill while they were taking part in a trip run by South African company Legelela Safaris that advertises hunting packages to tourists, according to the Mirror.

The tour operator shared the picture—which has since been taken down following intense backlash—of the couple intimately kissing on their public Facebook page with the caption, "Hard work in the Kalahari sun... well done. A monster lion."

The page had also shared other photos of the same couple in front of another dead lion and captioned it, "There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle in the sands of the Kalahari. Well done to the happy huntress and the team..."

However, Eduardo Goncalves of the Mirror's Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting said he believed that the lion was not the victim of some grand hunt but was bred in captivity to feed to tourists such as the Carters for slaughter.

Experts agreed that the lions killed were mostly captive (Source: Facebook)

"There is nothing romantic about killing an innocent animal," he said. "It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie. This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras."

Linda Park, the boss of Voice 4 Lions in South Africa, agreed and said the white lion pictured was "definitely captive." She also said that she "strongly suspects" the second, darker lion was as well. 

Park and Golcalves were describing what has come to be known as canned hunting—a practice where animals are kept in an enclosed area to be shot by paying hunters.

"It is like shooting a zoo animal," Goncalves said. "There’s nothing sporting about trophy hunting, but ‘canned hunting’ is surely the lowest of the low."

Darren and Carolyn run a taxidermy business, and described themselves as "passionate conservationists." But snaps uploaded on their open Instagram page show how they regularly participate in hunts of animals that are often endangered. 

Darren can be seen posing in front of a black bear he killed in one of the pictures, which has been tastelessly captioned, "Come on bear season, wakey wakey!"

When asked about his decision to kiss in front of the dead lion, he gave a non-answer, telling the Mirror, "We aren’t interested in commenting on that at all. It’s too political."