A veterinarian that hunts large game animals. Sounds like a contradiction right? Well, as irony would have it, Luciano Ponzetto, recently lost his life when he fell 100 feet while hunting birds for food. The highly criticized vet is known for posting photos of himself with large game animals that he had shot and killed. The social media posts have included animals such as lions and cheetahs and due to the outrage of animal lovers everywhere, Ponzetto has been on the receiving end death threats and other hateful messages.
While we all have the quick reaction to post our most recent proud moments on social media, sometimes it’s best to keep things private. This is an example of someone sharing what they thought to be something great with the world, however; there are a whole lot of people out there who don’t feel like killing an animal is something to mark as a success. It didn’t take long for Ponzetto to get a bad name amongst animal lovers everywhere.
“I am being criticized by people who do not know me, I have always loved my work and I have always loved animals,” Ponzetto said at the time, after his photo with a dead lion brought him the wrong sort of attention in 2015. “I will carry on hunting until the law changes.”
Ponzetto, who has always stood by his actions and defended himself, believes that veterinary work and hunting are not incompatible as far as moral and professional ethics are concerned. As the medical director of an animal kennel, Ponzetto stepped down from his role as a result of the threats, but he vowed to retaliate against anyone who spread the photos. One of the reasons his photos went viral is because it was right around the time that an American dentist was receiving criticisms for killing Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.
“We will try and take action against these people and the media who wrote [the stories] without considering whether or not the story was in the public interest,” said Ponzetto’s spokesman at the time.
While Ponzetto has always backed his actions up, it’s hard to justify his love of animals due to his love of hunting and killing them. Seems a bit ironic, but then again, so is his death, considering he died while in the midst of shooting wild birds for food.
“We were called by the mountain rescue services who had been alerted to the incident by someone who was out with him,” said a spokesman for the Italian police force. “His body was recovered by helicopter and taken to a local hospital.”
He is believed to have slipped and fallen, dying instantly.
Commenters had a lot to say about the vet’s untimely death…
“Sounds like karmic justice to me.”
“He got what he deserved.”
Some were quite harsh…
“Stuff him the same as he did to all the animals and hang him next to them.”
Some are calling the ended of Ponzetto’s life a tragic twist of events and others seem to be cheering on the fact that he lost his life and had it coming.