Calls for hunter who shot sleeping lion to be tracked down and punished in outpouring of fury

Jane Dalton
1 / 3
Calls for hunter who shot sleeping lion to be tracked down and punished in outpouring of fury

An American hunter who shot a sleeping lion, making it writhe in agony before he killed it, has sparked a global storm of repugnance, with calls for him to be hunted down himself to face justice.

Footage of Guy Gorney shooting the animal in Zimbabwe has gone viral on social media, prompting universal fury.

Some users said they would love him to be savaged by lions, others said they would enjoy attacking him, and some hoped he too died in agony.

The video, dating back to 2011, shows Mr Gorney being coached in shooting. He points his rifle at the sleeping lion and fires a shot, which awakes the animal.

It arches its back in pain and writhes on its back, unable to stand or run away.

Mr Gorney fires twice more before the guide intervenes and shakes his hand to congratulate him.

The guide says: “A very nice lion,” laughs and pats Mr Gorney on the back.

The footage also shows the pair prodding the dead lion with the rifle and admiring it, before the guide shakes Mr Gorney’s hand again.

(Protect All Wildlife)

One Twitter user described him as a “gutless self-obsessed narcissist with a gun, overactive ego and far too much money to waste”.

Another, Silvio Pires, wrote: “Can anyone explain to me how this monster is walking freely amongst us?! Pity our society when we allow such barbaric [sic] not to be punished!”

Colin Mckillen said: “No words for what this evil b*****d gets up to. Let’s hope karma catches up with him – he really deserves the worst.”

“Trophy” hunting is legal in Zimbabwe and South Africa, where wealthy hunters – usually American – pay huge sums to shoot animals dead.

Africa’s lion populations have plummeted in recent years, with estimates there could be as few as 15,000 left.

Mr Gorney, 65, from Manhattan, Illinois, has not responded to any of the torrent of criticism.

His Facebook account – where his profile picture shows him straddling another lion he killed – is not visible, and that of a woman apparently his daughter is also not public.

He has not responded to media requests to comment.

He has previously admitted having killed the “big five” species: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.

In 2015 he told WBBM radio he had killed 70 animals.

“I like pitting myself against these animals. And what greater trophy than an elephant?” he said.

He claimed hunting was conservation. “You can say, why’d you shoot a lion? I love zebra, so shooting a lion probably saves 70 zebra a year, give or take,” he said.

He said he follows the law when hunting and can’t abide poachers.

The US allows hunters with permits to import wildlife “trophies”.

In the UK, Lion Aid is lobbying for a ban on imports of lion parts to discourage hunting.