In just 24 hours, one man’s online petition convinced the National Geographic Channel to rethink its plans to include a big-game hunter on a new show set to debut this fall.
Conservationist Tim Martell, 42, says a lifetime of watching National Geographic specials inspired him to pursue a career dedicated to preserving animals and their ecosystems. So he was shocked to discover that a new show about survivalists in the Alaskan wilderness would feature “Hardcore Huntress“ Melissa Bachman, a well-known hunter who specializes in tracking and killing big game.
“I’m not against all forms of hunting. I’m primarily against trophy hunters,” Martell told Yahoo News in a phone interview on Friday. “I believe that it’s wasteful. It’s damaging to the ecosystem. To kill for a thrill or just a photograph is just unnecessary.”
Martell, who is a certified Florida Master Naturalist, was contacted by some of his friends who encouraged him to launch a petition against Bachman’s involvement on the show. However, when Martell first contacted National Geographic via email, he says he received a “generic” response informing him that the network planned to move forward with Bachman’s involvement.
But less than 24 hours later, Martell’s Change.org petition has received more than 13,000 signatures and has gone viral on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Martell then received another email from National Geographic, this time informing him that they had changed their minds about Bachman’s involvement.