Guy Gorney has been identified as the man in a video that caused tremendous backlash, in which he shot and killed a sleeping lion. Gorney, originally from a small town near Chicago, can be seen aiming his rifle at a lion at the edge of scrubland.
After three shots, a guide with a southern African accent tells Gorney, “OK, OK, don’t do anymore.” He shakes Gorney’s hand and congratulates the American churchgoer for his kill. The precise location of the clip is unknown, but it garnered outrage after an animal rights advocate from the UK shared it online.
Gorney, 64, told a local television station in 2015 that he had traveled to Africa nine times and killed 70 animals. He boasted about how he killed the “big five”—the elephant, leopard, lion, rhino and buffalo.
“I really like hunting elephants. They’re difficult to track down[,,,] The first elephant I got, I walked over 120 miles before I caught up to him,” he said on WBBM.
Recalling an instance when he shot a buffalo that had injured someone, he said: “The people that had benefited from the death of that animal cheered.” A photo from his Facebook page showed him straddling two lions he shot in Zimbabwe, making him a target for animal rights advocates in the past.
In addition to being a churchgoer, Gorney is a retired utilities expert. From 2005, he served as head of an electric company that ran coal-fired power plants.