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Beauty Queen Faces Massive Backlash Over Trophy Hunting Comments

Over the last few years, Olivia Nalos Opre and her husband, Tom Opre, have made headlines on numerous occasions over their choice of hobby: Trophy hunting.

Last week, she was back in the news again after appearing on ITV's This Morning, and making some controversial comments defending her choice to hunt endangered animals.

During a video call from her home in Wyoming, Olivia, who won the title for Mrs. Nebraska in 2003, first explained why she loved the sport so much before delving into why hunting is important.

"I think what it is, it's bringing me to a place where I get to be a part of these wild places. And amongst the people of these areas, it’s the adventure, it’s the pursuit," she said. "It’s something that pushes you to a limit you are not comfortable with and it takes you out of your comfort zone and for me, hunting is just being in the wild."

Much to everyone's horror, she then bragged about her "extensive list" of hunting adventures, including traveling across six continents in search of prey.

"I’ve been on about 40 safaris in eight different countries so about 100 species altogether I’d say," said the mother-of-four. According to her Facebook bio, she has hunted in Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Mongolia, France, Spain, Romania, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and throughout the United States."

Olivia then told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that "hunters are the ones that are giving so much back to preserving the wild species."

She continued, “No photographer is going to go to Liberia to take a photograph. But hunters have that desire to see new areas, and as a result of these hunters coming in, they’re creating jobs, they’re helping to drill wells and take animal censuses, and what’s most important is the anti-poaching efforts."

She added that there are large organizations, such as Safari Club International, that fund research in hunting to ensure that "the numbers are sustainable."

"There are biologists that have been paid for by hunters’ trophy dollars that go in and take censuses," she claimed.

Olivia's comments did not sit well with some of the viewers and social media users. She was labelled as "evil," "vile" and a "scumbag" for her actions and for defending her fellow hunter, Brittany Longoria, who was recently pictured carrying a dead leopard.

This wouldn't be the first time that Olivia has faced such a massive backlash. Last year, the vocal huntress revealed that her love for the sport has even earned her multiple death threats, especially after Cecil the Lion was killed.

But that hasn't stopped her from continuing to engage in the controversial activity.  She left the world of beauty pageants years ago to pursue her "greatest passion," which she says is "to educate the public about the important role hunters play as stewards of nature and humanitarians."

The beauty queen has been hunting since she was 16 years old and at 41, she is now the co-host of the TV show, Eye of the Hunter as well as the adventure consultant for World of Hunting Adventure.

You can watch a clip from her interview below:

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.