Sarah Palin, the Republican former governor of Alaska seen as a likely 2012 presidential candidate, has been slammed by the animal rights group PETA for hunting down a caribou on her TLC reality series "Sarah Palin's Alaska", while gun ownership rights advocate and rocker Ted Nugent praised her actions.
The 46-year-old's show debuted in mid-November and was watched by five million people, marking a record for the cable network. But audiences have since decreased to 2.8 million, who watched the most recent fourth episode, which aired on Sunday and showed Palin's hunting trip.
"Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show," PETA's vice president Dan Mathews said in a statement posted on the group's website. "But the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots."
A caribou is similar to a reindeer. Dressed in camouflage and sporting a red bandana, Palin is seen shooting down the animal, after which she exclaims, "Good". She had traveled with her father and a friend.
"When you're shooting everything seems to be happening very, very quickly. But then when you see you have a successful hit, it's a great feeling of accomplishment. In the words of Ted Nugent, we thank that mighty animal for living a good life and now sustaining a nice family."
Nugent said in an video posted online by promoters of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" that hunting is "perfect", adding: "What the Palin family celebrates is the self-evident truth that God's creation, the miracle of God's creation is renewable, annual sustainability that is absolutely perfect. "
After Palin kills the caribou, she helps skin it, cut it up and bag it and takes the carcass home.
"To know that we have good meat in the freezer for at least part of the year, that is the main thing," she says.
Palin on Sunday defended her hunting episode, saying on her Facebook page: "Unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight's episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy."
Check out a clip from "Sarah Palin's Alaska" as well as video of Ted Nugent's comments about the hunting episode.