Gun-ho: Goat huntress hits back at angry Scots
American slams death threats after images of her Highlands fling sparked outrage
An American “professional huntress” who caused an outcry by posing with a goat and a sheep that she shot on a visit to Scotland has hit out at “all the ignorant people out there sending me death threats”.
Larysa Switlyk, 33, revealed in a message on Instagram that her hunting trip to the Highlands and Islands took place a month ago and said she was about to set off on her latest hunt in the US.
Michael Russell, Scotland’s Brexit minister, led the condemnation of Switlyk and called on his government to ban the shooting of feral goats on the island of Islay.
Thousands of people joined in the criticism on Twitter over the trophy photographs, which also included what the American called a “monstrous” stag.
The row prompted Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, to announce on Wednesday night that the Scottish government will look at hunting laws to see if they need to be changed.
Switlyk described the “fun hunt” of the goat on Islay, saying it was killed with a 180m shot, despite some islanders saying they have to chase the feral animals out of their vegetable patches and you “can get within 10 yards (almost 10m) of them”.
Switlyk was unrepentant on Thursday, refusing to accept any wrongdoing. She posted a photograph of herself next to a seaplane and wrote: “My ride has arrived, I’m headed out on a bush plane for my next hunting adventure and will be out of service for two weeks.
“Nothing better than disconnecting from this social media-driven world and connecting back with nature.
“Hopefully that will give enough time for all the ignorant people out there sending me death threats to get educated on hunting and conservation. FYI, I was in Scotland over a month ago.”
Switlyk is a former accountant in New York who left her job to pursue her passion for hunting and fishing, and hosts a TV programme, Larysa Unleashed, which follows her around the world on hunting trips.
Goats are routinely shot by gamekeepers on estates in a number of areas in the Highlands, but the American and her hunting companion were criticised for “glorying” in the kills and treating the animals as trophies.
A Scottish government spokesman said: “We fully understand why so many people find these images of hunted animals being held up as trophies so upsetting.
“Responsible and appropriate culling of animals is a necessary part of sustainable land management and the culling of some wild animals, including deer and goats, is not illegal.
“However, we understand the concerns raised by these images and, in light of them, the environment secretary will review the situation and consider whether any clarification of or changes to the law might be required.”
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