"Loser." "Creep." "Must be compensating for something, small penis probably." These are just a few of the comments—some of them from an ex-prime minister's wife—being lobbed at a Canadian television host after he posted pictures online of himself with the cougar he'd hunted and killed. Per the CBC and BBC, Steve Ecklund, host of the wilderness show The Edge, had legally taken down the cougar in northern Alberta in early December, but it wasn't the fact that he'd simply gone on a hunt that earned him the backlash he's now receiving—it was the photos he put up afterward. In at least two Facebook posts (one apparently since deleted), Ecklund put up a bunch of photos, including one showing him holding up the bloodied dead cougar, along with the caption: "What an unreal ending to a fun filled season."
There was also a picture of him making a cougar stir-fry. All of which spurred ire online, including from Laureen Harper, the wife of ex-PM Stephen Harper. "I come from a family that hunts and fishes," she tweeted Wednesday. "Learned to use every part of an animal. Killing for fun makes me sick." (She also posted the "creep" and "penis" comments.) But Ecklund says he actually does plan on using every part of the animal, and in subsequent posts (one since disappeared), he doubled down, praising himself in one for "conservation" and "predator control." He also says he's received mostly positive reaction, per the South China Morning Post. A University of Alberta population ecology professor backs him up, CTV News reports. "This is an anti-hunting rant," he notes. "There is nothing illegal about cougar hunting, but I understand that some people do not accept [it]. That is a personal choice."