Supermarket Managers Resign After Safari Hunting Photos of Murdered Lion, Hippo and Alligator Surface Online

The managers of a supermarket in France have left their jobs after photos of them hunting on safari in 2015 appeared online, local media has reported.

The photos showed two men and a woman holding guns and posing with the bodies of dead animals including a lion, a leopard, a hippo and an alligator. Local publication Lyonmag named them as the Alboud family.

voila ce que certaines personnes proprietaires D'UNE GRANDE SURFACE de l'arbresle font avec le pognons dépensé dans...

Posted by Laurent Guillaumont on Thursday, July 4, 2019

Social media users slammed the images, which came to light after a Facebook user found them via Google and shared them. Some users called for a boycott of the Albouds' store. Others suggested holding a peaceful demonstration outside the business.

The Albouds ran a Super U store in L'Arbresle in eastern France before they resigned amid the backlash late Tuesday.

The store, which is part of the U Les Commercants cooperative, stayed closed Wednesday. U Les Commercants said they planned on opening the store again Thursday morning.

A Monday statement from the company read: "These images are personal activities outside the professional sphere. The cooperative is nevertheless keen to firmly dissociate itself from these practices that run counter to the values we defend."

Si ces images relèvent d'activités personnelles en dehors de la sphère professionnelle, la coopérative tient néanmoins à se désolidariser fermement de ces pratiques qui vont à l'encontre des valeurs que nous défendons et de nos engagements. 2/2

— U Les Commerçants (@ULesCommercants) July 8, 2019

On Tuesday evening, the U Les Commercants announced on Twitter that the Albouds had resigned. Another statement noted the company was "totally opposed" to their actions. Measures to support staff and appoint new management are underway, it read.

The fate of the Albouds' divided social media users. Many celebrated the fact they had lost their positions over their actions. User @Broche10 hoped the family's experience would offer a lesson to people still engaging in "these barbaric practices."

@Broche10 continued: "It's not sport, you can't kill animals that are already disappearing for pleasure. On the contrary, we must protect them for future generations."

Another user branded the Albouds "assassins."

But others criticized the social media shaming itself. User Nenez Labechigue compared it to a modern-day witch hunt.

Ce lynchage est merveilleux ... Ça devait être comme ça quand il choppait une "sorcière" au moyen âge.

— Nenez Labechigue (@NenezLabechigue) July 9, 2019

User Albert Roche said in French: "Delusional. I do not approve of safaris, but I approve of manhunts even less. They lose their jobs and must prepare to be harassed for weeks or months."

Although big game hunting is practiced legally in many parts of Africa, it remains highly controversial. Many activists consider killing animals for pleasure to be immoral. But supporters argue fees raised through hunting bolster conservation efforts.

In recent years, several individuals have faced a media backlash after sharing photos of their hunts on social media. American dentist Walter Palmer gained particular notoriety back in 2015 after he illegally killed a locally famous lion called Cecil in Zimbabwe.

Lion, Hunting
File photo: A lion is pictured. Getty