Viral video of hunter sneaking up and shooting sleeping lion dead sparks outrage online

Viral video of hunter sneaking up and shooting sleeping lion dead sparks outrage online

A video of a hunter sneaking up on a sleeping lion and shooting it dead has provoked outrage from people online.

The harrowing footage, which is reportedly believed to have been filmed in 2011, was uploaded to the Twitter account @Protect_Wldlife on Monday and shows a man now identified as Guy Gorney pointing a rifle at a lion that is fast asleep.

Gorney is guided on how to shoot and fires one shot, waking the wild animal, which seemingly arches its back in pain and looks around to pinpoint where the attack has come from. Before the big cat can react fully though, the hunter fires a second and third shot.

Hunter Credit: Twitter/@Protect_Wldlife

The person coaching Gorney tells him to stop, saying, "OK, OK, don't do any more," before shaking his hand and praising him, saying: "That, Mr. [inaubible], is a very nice lion, a very nice lion."

The clip then cuts to the guide prodding the lion with the rifle to check it is dead; he shakes Gorney's hand once more, before the video shows a closeup of the lifeless animal's face.

Lion Credit: Twitter/@Protect_Wldlife

Posting the footage to Twitter, @Protect_Wldlife wrote: "This 'hunter' sneaked up on a SLEEPING #Lion and killed it! How brave, how sporting - HOW C**TISH!!! According to the @NatGeo magazine, the Lion will have disappeared from the African continent in 2050!!!! RT if you want a GLOBAL ban on ALL #trophyhunting NOW!! @RickyGervais".

As the footage went viral, gaining over 2,700 retweets, the identity of the hunter was not known and spurred an angry search from thousands of incensed social media users.

Hunter and lion Credit: Twitter/@Protect_Wldlife

One Twitter user under the handle @PeterEgan6 named the two men in the video a "pair of gutless creeps," writing: "How more disgusting can you get. Murdering a sleeping lion and then congratulating each's money and no humanity, these people stink [sic]."

Another person on Twitter going by the username @CharalambousMa4 shared his outrage, putting: "I live to pour boiling hot water on him while he's sleeping and watch him scream in agony - that was horrible to watch."

After the video received attention online, the hunter was allegedly identified as 64-year-old Guy Gorney, who has been outspoken about his love for trophy hunting.

In an interview from 2015 with CBS, Gorney - who admitted he had killed 70 big game animals, including elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo - claimed he liked "pitting himself against these animals".

Dead lion Credit: Twitter/@Protect_Wldlife

"I have a hard time understanding, if you have a picture of somebody with a deer, nobody seems to care," he said. "But if it’s an elephant, it’s a big problem. If it’s a lion – especially now – it’s a huge problem. But to me, either way, I’ve stopped a beating heart. I like pitting myself against these animals. And what greater trophy than an elephant?"

Gorney, who lived in Manhattan, Illinois, at the time of the interview, added that he always abided by the law when he hunted.

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, at the current rate of hunting and poaching, lions could go extinct by the year 2050.