A British farmer has been lambasted on social media after images of him posing with the carcasses of wild animals emerged online. The pictures show alleged game hunter Ian Evans, 62, from Scotland, posing with a dead elephant, a buffalo and a zebra during a hunting trip in South Africa.
Mr Evans is seen wearing camouflage gear while brandishing a rifle and smiling as he reclines against the lifeless remains of an elephant he had reportedly shot. In another disturbing image, he stands smiling behind the carcass of a zebra. In a third photo, he poses behind a dead buffalo, the bullet wound visible in the animal’s hide.
The photos were posted on Facebook by his former daughter-in-law Helen Winters, who claims Mr Evans reveled in the brutal killing of the wild animals and had photos of his killings and the dismembered remains of elephants and zebra displayed in his home.
“Unless you’re going to eat it, I don’t believe in killing,” she said. “And I don’t believe in shooting elephants. He has mountains of these pictures – elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelope, gazelles.
“I think his behaviour is disgusting. He turned up with a guncase and a handbag made from elephant skin. There is an elephant ear in the farmhouse, and an elephant foot covered by zebra skin.
“He was proud of killing animals. The last set of tusks that came over are taller than me. He has mountains of pictures. His behaviour is disgusting,” she said.
She also alleges that he killed five of her pet geese which she had left at his farm in Wigtownshire while she was caring for her daughter Faye, 20, who was injured in a horse riding accident in Cambridgeshire.
Ms Winters wrote on Facebook: “I returned a week ago to find that my ex father in law had shot them so not only does he trophy shoot elephants and other big game, he’s taken the life of my pets at such a difficult time in my life.”
Mr Evans, a dairy farmer, responded to the accusations telling the Daily Mirror that he felt no remorse at the killings. “If I told you the truth, I would get so much c**p back about it,” he said. “But I cried when I shot the elephant because it was the first time I’d ever done it. It was a unique moment.”
In a statement on his website he attempts to defend the killings of animals, saying the images had been on Facebook for six years and the elephant was killed in a cull seven years ago. “There are 900 elephants in this reserve (expanding at a rate of 7% a year, which is unsustainable). The cull is part of the management of the reserve,” he said. “I went (to Africa) in 2014, but the pictures she is using are from 2009, 2007 and earlier. There was five years between the last one and the one before that.”
When questioned about the claim that he had stored tusks and elephant-skin products, he replied: “I’m not sure if I want to answer that.”
According to Mail Online, he admitted that he had “disposed of” the geese claiming that his daughter-in-law had abandoned them. “I didn’t shoot them but I did dispose of them. I did away with them. She abandoned those animals. There was no one to look after them. They had the run of the place and the mess they made was incredible.”
Asked why he took part in the trophy hunts, he explained: “I just love Africa. I am in love with the enormous ecosystem that you can study. Yes, I was part of a cull. That’s explained in my statement. It was seven years ago.
Harry Huyton, director of animal welfare group OneKind, told the Daily Record: “It beggars belief that anyone can derive any sort of pleasure from killing beautiful creatures and posing with their bodies.
“Trophy hunting is absolutely abhorrent and this individual should be ashamed of himself not only for killing these animals but then boasting about it afterwards.”
The images have prompted outrage as social media commentators condemn Mr Evans for the killings. One person tweeted: “You make me ashamed to be part of the human race.”
“Shame on you, Ian Evans,” said another. “Horrible piece of s***”, wrote one angry social media user.
Expressing disgust at the killings someone added, with obvious irony: “Ian Evans, A great ambassador for Scotland’s dairy farmers.”
The images and the angry backlash are reminiscent of the global outrage sparked by Walter Palmer who killed Cecil the lion in an organized hunt. The 13-year-old prized lion was lured from Hwange National Park, a Zimbabwean nature reserve, on 1 July. He was shot with a crossbow, before being tracked for 40 hours and then shot with a rifle. The lion was then decapitated and skinned for trophies.
Walter Palmer, 55, from Minnesota, was exposed as the lion hunter, as it was revealed he paid £35,000 ($50,000) to shoot the much-loved animal with a bow and arrow.