WARNING: Post contains photo some readers may find disturbing.
A couple who managed a supermarket in eastern France has stepped down from their positions following backlash prompted by newly surfaced photos they took on an African safari in 2015.
In the photos, the couple, who ran a Super U location in L'Arbresle, could be seen standing over various big-game animals they allegedly hunted, including a hippopotamus, a zebra, an alligator and a leopard, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The animals were killed during a captive hunt aimed at attracting trophy hunters, the outlet reports.
Super U first announced its intentions to disassociate from the couple’s actions on Monday, following backlash on social media.
By Tuesday, Super U had confirmed the couple was no longer running the L'Arbresle location.
"These images go against the values and commitments upheld by the U retail cooperative. We firmly condemn them, even though they relate to private activities by the supermarket owners," Super U said in a statement shared by the AFP.
"In light of the condemnation raised by these activities within the cooperative and the legitimate emotion among the public, the shop's managers have decided to immediately leave the chain and their shop in L'Arbresle."
The couple’s photos were recently brought to the attention of animal rights activists in France after being spotted on a site advertising safaris in Tanzania and South Africa, The Times reported.
The photos were subsequently shared on social media, prompting critics to advocate for boycotting the Super U. Some even issued death threats, according to the Times.
The couple themselves had not issued any statements regarding the controversy as of Tuesday, BBC reports.
Super U said the L'Arbresle would be reopening on Thursday.