WATCH: Hunter Comes Under Heavy Criticism for Shooting Sleeping Lion in Zimbabwe

Sleeping Lion
AP Photo/Andy Loveridge

An American big game hunter has become the subject of outage by animal lovers over a viral video showing him shooting a sleeping lion to death, during a 2011 hunting trip in Zimbabwe.

Video of a lion bagged by hunter Guy Gorney recently went viral and outraged animal lovers for what many felt was an unsportsmanlike shooting of the animal. The video shows Gorney sneaking up to a sleeping lion and blasting away until it dies. The animal is seen rolling and writhing in agony while dying, according to the Independent.

At the end of the video, a guide laughs, claps the hunter on the back, and says, “A very nice lion.”

A tweet from Protect_Wildlife, an animal-lover’s Twitter account, excoriates Gorney as a “coward,” a “remorseless trophy hunter,”and a “scumbag” for the video of the hunt.

Twitter users went apoplectic over the incident and unleashed a torrent of name-calling and wishes that Gorney be killed in a myriad of ways.

One tweet on the Protect_Wildlife post said, “Let’s hope karma catches up with him – he really deserves the worst.” Another called Gorney a “gutless self-obsessed narcissist with a gun.”

The hunt itself was conducted legally with the proper permits in Zimbabwe, but some wildlife experts say that the lion population in Africa has fallen to perhaps as few as 15,000 animals.

Gorney has remained completely silent about the controversial lion shoot. But he has spoken about his hunting hobby in the past. In 2015 he did an interview with Chicago’s WBBM radio and said at that time he had killed 70 animals.

He said he despises poachers and that all his hunts have been conducted within the laws of the countries he has visited. He added that his hunting is part of efforts at 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.

It is currently legal for Americans to bring trophy kills into the country if the hunt was conducted with the proper permits abroad.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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