12-year-old Cache County hunter targeted for killing zebra, giraffe

Aryanna Gourdin, 12, of Cache County, made worldwide headlines after she posted pictures of her South African hunting safari on Facebook. Image: Facebook

CACHE COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 17, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A Cache County girl is getting death threats and explicit verbal abuse from thousands of strangers around the world after she posted pictures of a recent hunting safari on Facebook.

Aryanna Gourdin, 12, likes to hunt big game with father Eli, and last week posted pictures of herself in South Africa, posing with a giraffe and a zebra she killed with her father’s help.

The next morning, she woke up to learn her page had more than 24,000 followers, and most of them were angry.

But despite the backlash, Aryanna told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that she loves hunting.

“It’s something I cherish and enjoy and I want other people to see what I experienced,” she said in the interview.

The trip, one of many she has taken over the years, drew a lot of interest. One photo drew more than 73,000 comments from a mix of rage-filled animal lovers, avid hunters, and people insisting no child of 12 deserved the verbal abuse Aryanna was getting.

Some comments went so far as to threaten the father and daughter’s lives.

Aryanna Gourdin, 12, of Cache County, made worldwide headlines after she posted pictures of her South African hunting safari on Facebook. Image: Facebook
Aryanna Gourdin, of Cache County, suffered an angry backlash after she posted pictures of her South African hunting safari last week on Facebook. Image: Facebook

“We’re proud to be hunters, and we’ll never apologize for being a hunter,” Eli Gourdin told “Good Morning America.”

Gourdin said the hunting farm the two visited had told them the giraffe they killed was an older, problem animal.

“They actually had an older giraffe that was eating up valuable resources other giraffes need to survive,” he told the reporter.

The meat from the various animals they killed was donated to a local village, and will feed 800 orphans over the next month, Gourdin said.

Gourdin has said hunting is part of conservation. The animals were not from endangered species, he said, and herds benefit when problem individuals are culled. And the cost of the hunt will be used to benefit conservation causes, he said.

Aryanna told the GMA reporter she doesn’t plan to give up her sport.

“I would never back down from hunting,” she said. “I am a hunter and no matter what people say to me, I’m never going to stop.”

Aryanna Gourdin, 12, of Cache County, made worldwide headlines after she posted pictures of her South African hunting safari on Facebook. Image: Facebook
Aryanna Gourdin, 12, of Cache County, made worldwide headlines after she posted pictures of her South African hunting safari on Facebook. Image: Facebook

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Killed with her father’s help? How many bullets or arrows did these unfortunate animals have to suffer? Sad they were killed by worthless human beings

    • Why do you care so little for the people who ate the meat and for the people whos income relies on the tens of thousands of dollars these hunters paid to hunt in Africa? Maybe you don’t eat meat though right? Or are you a hypocrite who pays others to do your killing for you because you are too week minded to do it yourself?

    • YOU are a worthless human being. You obviously were too stupid to read the article. And to terrorize a child is as low as it gets.

  2. How sad the way this girl’s father is raising her. To think that taking a life in the name of sport is “fun”. And the giraffe was taking resources away from the other giraffes? So, like, he was eating and drinking? No wonder they killed him. The nerve….

  3. No sympathy from me–she needs to figure it out. This isn’t cool! Killing things for sport is not at all sporting. It is actually a characteristic of a sociopath!

    • You are a vegan correct? If not, how sporting is it to go to the store and buy your meat? Maybe you think a slaughter house is sporting? I bet the people who received all the meat from this hunt don’t give a damn what you think.

      • that’s right jerkoff, i am vegan…i don’t feel the need to end an animals life for my nutrition…killing animals for food is unnecessary…killing animals for sport is perversion

  4. Good for her! It is amazing how ignorant, emotionally driven people are completely oblivious to how the world actually works. They condemn this sweet little girl and her fine dad while they’re shoving a chicken leg into their maw, all the while failing to realize the only reason there are animals left in the wild, and their habitat has not been plowed under for subsistence farming and chicken factories, is because hunters pay billions into conservation to preserve that animal habitat. They need to shut up, grab another chicken leg, and go feed their house cat another dead animal.

  5. Everyone who enjoys trophy hunting please go shoot yourself in the face ! Thank you ! These people deserve every negative threat they get !

  6. It’s not her fault she is a product of her upbringing. Sort of like how lion cubs watch and learn everything from there mother and the surrounding pride, (family) it’s all they know. So if the Pride were targeting humans and killing us that’s exactly what those cubs are going to do when the come of age. So it’s not her fault she was raised to believe killing these animals is okay and actually “helping the conservation” is what she said. Disgusting I personally feel it’s a form of child abuse at the end of the day. I blame the parenting of this little girl. It is not okay to think that this behavior is okay at all. So what’s next for her she has that greedy taste in her mouth what is her next trophy? A lion? Does she need a LION to add to her trophy case? So sad so sad. It’s sad when you get to a point when you care more for the animals than you do humans. Because all the horrible things I’m thinking right now about these people and people like them is not morally ethical and that saddens me.

  7. Everyone wants to kill a 12 year old girl, until it’s time to kill a 12 year old girl. Liberals gonna liberal. :/

    I say good job, Aryanna. If only people could truly understand how this is a net positive.

  8. Did you miss the point that they said over 800 orphans would benefit from the meat of the animals. Or how the hunt will benefit conservation benefits. Lighten up people and get a life!

  9. Good on her! Awesome job!

    As for the rest of you, if you wear natural products, drive a vehicle, or eat meat, go choke yourselves for being pathetic hypocrites. Then go read a book on wildlife management instead of facebook memes.

  10. at least michael vick showed remorse for what he did…this girl and her piece of shiit father will make any excuse they can for their sick behavior…food for vilagers my azss…the fact is that these trophy hunters are as perverted as jeffrey dahmer…is it a sexual thing with these animal killers? and what kind of a trophy is an innocent giraffe? i sincerely wish horrible karma and each and every person that feels the need to end and animal’s life just to get their kicks…how pathetic they are

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