Hunter becomes the hunted after goat kill goes viral

Hunter and show host Larysa Switlyk thought the Scottish goat that she had hunted was beautiful, but the internet had other adjectives in mind. After intense social media backlash over the photo, Switlyk has announced she’s taking a two-week break from social media, with Scotland’s first minister saying she is reviewing the situation.

On Monday, Oct. 22, Switlyk shared a photo to Instagram and Twitter taken on Scotland’s island of Islay. In the photo, Switlyk poses and smiles behind a “beautiful wild” Scottish goat that she had taken down during her hunt. She described the hunt as a hard two days, looking for the goats along the cliffs of the island, where they hide. The photo, while posted Monday, had been taken a month prior.

“Made a perfect 200 yard shot and dropped him with the @gunwerks and @nightforce_optics! (Good thing too because he could have ran off the cliff into the water),” Switlyk wrote in her Instagram caption.

In another photo, Switlyk takes a pic of someone else on her hunt named Jason, who is sitting behind another animal carcass.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpSKnrtgd-E/?taken-by=larysaunleashed

Despite Switlyk’s excitement for her hunt, her critics haven’t seen her haul as such. On Twitter, commenters have bashed her Scottish goat photo and her work as a hunter, criticizing her for taking joy in killing animals. While “culling” might be necessary, some argued that she shouldn’t be taking pleasure in the act.

While her photo on Twitter received more than 450 retweets and nearly 2,000 likes, the more than 17,000 responses, mostly negative, cracked down on Switlyk’s celebration.

Despite the backlash, however, some tried to explain why hunting for wild goats, or “culling,” would be necessary—to counter overpopulation and prevent subsequent environmental damage. According to the Guardian, the Scottish government says “responsible and appropriate culling of some wild animals, including deer and goats, was not illegal.”

The backlash against Switlyk, however, does have the Scottish government troubled. Scotland’s Secretary of Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said on Twitter that it will review the culling situation, and see whether “any clarification of or changes to the law might be required.”

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon echoed these sentiments on Twitter, writing that it was “totally understandable why the images from Islay of dead animals being held up as trophies is so upsetting and offensive to people.”

Switlyk, however, seems not to share such regrets. In her latest social media post, shared to Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday, she wrote that she will be “out of service” for the next two weeks during her upcoming hunting adventure. She also pushed back at the “ignorant people out there sending me death threats,” telling them “to get educated on hunting and conservation” while she’s away.

Two weeks might be enough time for Switlyk to recover from her social media backlash and death threats, but it’s also enough time for the internet to rest and recuperate for their next cycle of outrage, waiting to see what Switlyk might post next.

H/T Sky News

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.