BACKSTORY: Melissa Bachman is a TV host who mostly hosts hunting television programs.
Last week, she posted a picture with a dead male lion on her Facebook page with the caption:
2. “An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!”
The lion she hunted was in an official game park in South Africa, so technically it was totally legal.
But for anyone who has been on safari in Africa, you know just how fucked up it is to kill a lion.
4. I spent a few days in Botswana last month with lion experts and filmmakers, Beverly and Dereck Joubert.
The two of them have been researching lions for 30 years. They’ve made 25 films for National Geographic and their 26th is called Game of Lions. It’s premiering on Nat Geo Wild as part of Big Cat Week on Dec. 1.
5. One thing that the Jouberts said to me that really stuck was, “Hunting a lion is the most cowardly thing you can do.”
So when Melissa Bachman posted that picture, I was very unimpressed. Also disgusted.
From spending some time on the safari, I also realized there were a few gaps in her story.
7. First off, “stalking” lions means you have a guide. That guide takes you out in a big van.
Our guide’s name was James.
8. You find buffalo.
It’s not always buffalo, but generally the lions stay close to animals they’re hunting.
9. And BOOM. There’s a lion sitting in the shade. Relaxing.
Now for the lions themselves.
Here were three things I learned:
1. Lions are big cats (duh). They act like them too.
2. They just sleep and sit around all day, like cats.
3. Lions do not give a shit about you. They see you as that big van. They don’t mess with you.
11. There was one instance when we were out with the lions and they sat next to our truck and used it as shade. They were literally three feet away from us.
That’s me. Sry.
12. Here a male lion is walking right next to the car I’m in.
13. Like, I am straight up chilling next to a pride of lions.
14. Still just sitting there. They aren’t moving.
We actually had to start the engine to startle them a bit so they would walk away from the shade of our truck.
15. Just to show you how incredibly difficult it is to hunt a lion…here’s a selfie I took next to one.
16. As you can see, the lion tried to run away from us.
17. JK, he fell asleep…
18. …and tried to block the light from his eyes.
To sum things up: Hunting a lion isn’t very hard. To kill a lion you have to be a coward.
- Zimbabwe park officials reported that Jericho, the brother of beloved lion Cecil, was shot and killed by a hunter. But some scientists monitoring the pride believe he is OK.