× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Trophy hunter poses with 'Valentine's gift' - the heart of giraffe she just shot

By Daily Mirror | February 21st 2021

Merelize van der Merwe poses with the giraffe she killed. [Courtesy]

Merelize Van Der Merwe, 32, boasts of how her “wonderful” husband spent £1,500 to make her five-year dream come true at a game park last Sunday.

The sick photo she proudly posted on her Facebook page has caused outrage among animal rights campaigners.

But the defiant mum astonishingly insists killing the ageing bull giraffe helps SAVE threatened species in South Africa – a claim dismissed by conservationists.

Van Der Merwe, who started hunting at five and has killed up to 500 animals including lions, leopards and elephants, says she posted the snap to taunt the animal rights lobby.

“I have no respect for them – I call them the mafia,” she said before excitedly telling all about her dream day.

The couple had been planning a Valentine’s trip to the resort of Sun City when a pal called her to say a kill she coveted had been spotted in a game park.

“I’d waited years for my own perfect bull – the older a bull gets the darker he gets,” she said. “I love the skin and the fact it’s such an iconic animal for Africa.

“Our plans changed quickly. My wonderful husband Gerhardt knew this was my dream. I was like a child for two weeks, counting the days. Afterward I was flooded with emotions.”

Merelize van der Merwe holds the heart of the bull giraffe she killed. [Courtesy]

She captioned the post: 'Ever wondered how big a giraffe's heart is'

She plans to use her 17-year-old victim’s skin as a rug – and posted her pic with the comment: “Ever wondered how big a giraffe’s heart is? I’m over the moon with my Valentines present!!!”

Van Der Merwe – who runs a citrus farm in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province– claimed her kill “created work for 11 people that day” and “a lot of meat for the locals”.

She claimed the death of the old bull would mean “a new bull can take over and provide new strong genetics for the herd”.

She added: “If hunting is banned, animals will become worthless and will disappear. Hunting has helped bring back a lot of species from the brink of extinction. The only people protecting these animals are trophy hunters.”

The trophy hunter poses with her kill. [Courtesy]

She also believes hunting protects thousands of jobs in tourism.

But Dr Mark Jones of the Born Free Foundation told us: “Trophy hunters’ claims they are concerned about wildlife conservation are highly misleading. Trophy hunting is not a conservation tool, nor does it contribute significant funds to local communities.”

Elisa Allen, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said: “Someone who kills another sentient being, cuts out their heart, and boasts about it fits the definition of a sociopath.

“One day, trophy hunting will be listed as a sign of a psychiatric disorder, as it should be today. It is grandiosity, serial killing, and bloodlust paired with a burning desire to show off."

Share this story
Big US companies slash donations to politicians after Trump election challenge
Only committees tied to two of the companies - General Electric Co and American Express Co - reported any new giving to federal candidates in January.
Diabetes: Insulin now an essential drug
Listing NCDs is a relief to Kenyans like 65-year-old Kahuho Mathai from Nyeri County, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.