News, Culture & Society

US hunter who boasted of gunning down animals on trip to Scottish island faces criminal charges

An American big-game hunter who boasted of gunning down local animals while visiting a Scottish island is now facing criminal charges. 

Larysa Switlyk, ‘a world-renowned hunter’ from Sarasota, Florida, was accused of ‘trophy hunting’ wild animals on the island of Islay, Scotland in September after she posed for a series of Instagram photos with slain goats, stags and sheep. 

Now, Police Scotland have confirmed that a 33-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man, both from the US, have been reported for firearms offences. 

In November, Ms Switlyk also caused controversy after she was pictured in Norfolk posing next to a sheep she has just killed and holding up a blood-covered sex toy.

She is facing a charge under Section 11a of the Firearms Act, which is believed to relate to how you can use borrowed shotguns legally – however, as previously reported, she is not believed to have done any illegal hunting.

US television presenter Larysa Switlyk is facing firearms charges after police in Scotland investigated her time hunting on the island of Islay in September

Ms Switlyk drew intense criticism from politicians and celebrities after posting the photos – although many commenters mocked her for posing so proudly with a sheep. 

Police Scotland added that they had received several complaints about hunting in September and the Procurator Fiscal is now investigating.  

In one Instagram picture, blonde television presenter Ms Switlyk, dressed in camouflage gear, knelt beside the corpse of a goat while another shot saw her posing ‘in sniper mode’ and lying in the long grass while pointing a gun into the distance. 

Other animals she hunted included stags, and in one caption she wrote: ‘In awe of my Scottish Stag ~ can’t wait to bring it back to the castle for the chefs to cook it up!’.

Ms Switlyk, pictured with a dead sheep, drew intense criticism after the photos on her Instagram page were spotted by politicians and celebrities

Ms Switlyk, pictured with a dead sheep, drew intense criticism after the photos on her Instagram page were spotted by politicians and celebrities

It’s unclear who the man facing charges alongside Ms Switlyk is, though she posted photos of a male companion named Jason during her visit.  

The photos of the bloody hunts sparked outrage in Scotland, with one MSP warning he would be looking into whether the hunts were organised by an official group.

In Scotland, it is legal to hunt red stags between July 1 and October 20, provided hunters use firearms, have a licence for their weapons and have the permission of the landowner.

Wild goats and sheep have no legal protections under Scottish law and are often included by companies offering hunt parties.

The presenter is described as a 'world renowned hunter' but many on social media have criticised her for glorifying killing. She is pictured here with a Red Stag

The presenter is described as a ‘world renowned hunter’ but many on social media have criticised her for glorifying killing. She is pictured here with a Red Stag

Firms offer hunting trips in Islay, where it is legal to shoot Red Stags between July 1 and October 20. Ms Switlyk is pictured here with her companions stalking animals

Firms offer hunting trips in Islay, where it is legal to shoot Red Stags between July 1 and October 20. Ms Switlyk is pictured here with her companions stalking animals

A Scottish Government spokesman said at the time: ‘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 caused 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.’  

Ms Switlyk posted pictures of Jason, also posing with animal carcasses, and wrote: ‘Congrats on Jason on his gold medal goat here in Scotland on Islay. A unique hunt’.

Celebrities on social media were among those to criticise her, with Judy Murray calling the pictures 'disgraceful'

Celebrities on social media were among those to criticise her, with Judy Murray calling the pictures ‘disgraceful’

BBC presenter Nicky Campbell branded the hunter a 'twisted sicko' for the killings

BBC presenter Nicky Campbell branded the hunter a ‘twisted sicko’ for the killings

In another, she said: ‘Proud of Jason and his second monstrous Red Stag here in Scotland. Talk about gold medal status. Was fun to be behind the camera and capturing it all on film.

‘Amazing hunting here in the Highlands.’

MSP Michael Russell said: ‘If this is actually happening on Islay and laid on by some sort of tour company I would want to see it stopped immediately.’

Tennis star Andy Murray’s mum Judy Murray tweeted: ‘A unique hunt? Disgraceful. It’s a goat. And it’s in Scotland, on a beautiful island. Stop this please @scotgov.’

She was joined on the trip by a friend called Jason, pictured, whom she congratulated on his wild goat kill, pictured. It is unclear if Jason is the man being investigated

She was joined on the trip by a friend called Jason, pictured, whom she congratulated on his wild goat kill, pictured. It is unclear if Jason is the man being investigated

Ms Switlyk, pictured with hunting guides and a Red Stag she killed, said she wants to 'enlighten' people about the importance of hunting

Ms Switlyk, pictured with hunting guides and a Red Stag she killed, said she wants to ‘enlighten’ people about the importance of hunting

And Nicky Campbell wrote on Twitter: ‘Please don’t take this the wrong way but you are a twisted sicko’.

On her website, Ms Switlyk described herself as ‘a mixture of a tomboy and model,’ and ‘competitive, engaging and adventurous.’

Her television show, Larysa Unleashed, aims to ‘enlighten and educate the general population about why people hunt and fish, the importance of conservation, cultural experiences, and the rules and regulations behind it’.

And she is described as having ‘found true love and zeal for hunting’.

The presenter, pictured with a Red Stag she and her friend shot dead, described the hunting on Islay as 'amazing'

The presenter, pictured with a Red Stag she and her friend shot dead, described the hunting on Islay as ‘amazing’

Ms Switlyk is pictured here posing in 'sniper mode'. She has also been criticised for promoting hunting and asks people to get in touch on her Instagram posts

Ms Switlyk is pictured here posing in ‘sniper mode’. She has also been criticised for promoting hunting and asks people to get in touch on her Instagram posts

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.