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EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Written by: Nick Squires for The Telegraph

An Italian vet who hunted a lion on safari in Tanzania has been fired from his job as the director of a kennel.

Luciano Ponzetto with a dead lion, left and a dead warthog
Luciano Ponzetto with a dead lion and a dead warthog

Luciano Ponzetto was bombarded with hate messages after photographs of him emerged online posing proudly with a hunting rifle and the body of the dead carnivore splayed out in front of him.

He said that he had received messages from people who said they wanted to run him over with a car and kill him. He claimed that there was nothing “incompatible” with being a vet and hunting wild animals for sport.

He said he had shot the lion several years ago and it had only recently come to wider attention through social media. And defenders said he had done nothing illegal because he had a permit to shoot the predator.

Turin’s veterinary association said Mr Ponzetto had simply indulged in a “hobby”, which is regulated by law.

But the row attracted widespread media attention in Italy, and the kennels where he worked in Caluso, a town near Turin, decided at the weekend to dismiss him as its medical director after 16 years of service.

“We are totally opposed to any form of hunting or abuse of animals, whether they be wild or domestic,” the association that runs the kennels said in a statement.

In a brief statement, Mr Ponzetto said: “I thank the kennels for the faith they have invested in me over the years.”

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