WARNING: Photos and video not for sensitive readers.
Merelize Van Der Merwe, from Naboomspruit in South Africa, shocked people all over the world when she shared a photo of herself with a giraffe’s heart. Her husband apparently paid so she could shoot the animal and cut out his heart as a Valentine’s gift over Valentine’s weekend.
The bull she shot is apparently 17 years old. In a post on Facebook, where she stands with the giraffe’s heart in her hands, she says: “Have you ever wondered how big a giraffe’s heart is?”
Van der Merwe told Mirror that her hunt that day created jobs for 11 people and provided a lot of meat for residents. She was assisted by Chrisjan Bakker.
She added: “If hunting is banned, animals will become worthless and disappear. Hunting has helped bring many species back from extinction. The only people who protect these animals are trophy hunters.”
Van der Merwe wrote on her Facebook page on 13 February at 12:09: “What is a trophy hunter, someone who waits years for the right animal, I set out in 2016 on a quest to hunt a big black giraffe bull but none was what I was looking for. I contacted almost everyone I knew who had bulls black and old enough to fit the bill.”
“In 2017 I found a bull but unfortunately one of my friends got to him first and jokingly we said we had duel custody over it.”
“I had but all given up hope the last 2 years, filtering through 60+ photos of bulls.”
“Two weeks ago a dear friend Chrisjan Bakker contacted me regarding my request for a big old bull and I couldn’t believe my eyes, BIG BLACK and 0LD, so old that he was way over his time and the owner didn’t know if he will last another 3 months!!!”
“My husband booked a trip for us to the palace of the lost city situated in Sun City for our Valentines weekend, but our plans changed quickly.”
“My wonderful husband knew this was my dream and fully supported me from a romantic 5 star weekend away to roughing it again in the heat and bush.”
“I was literally like a little child for 2 weeks and counted down the days.”
“Afterwards I was flooded with emotions as I’ve been waiting years to have this opportunity!”
“I would please like to thank the following people: My husband, Gerhardt Nell who understands passion for hunting and supporting me no matter what. The PH and vriend Chrisjan Bakker. Wouter who did all the hard work for us and then skinning team.”