A PETITION to have a Love Island contestant removed from the show after the discovery of images appearing to show him posing alongside animals that he had shot has amassed over 35,000 signatures.
23-year-old Ollie Williams, whose multi-millionaire father is the Lord of the Manor of Lanhydrock in England, was seen posing alongside the giant animals including water buffalo in photographs which have since been deleted.
The young aristocrat is named as the director of the dormant company Cornish Sporting Agency, which describes its nature of business as "Hunting, trapping and related services activities".
Calls to boycott the winter edition of the popular ITV show began as the photographs, which show a smiling Mr Williams, emerged, with one person asking "why is he being given a huge platform on one of the most popular TV shows?"
(An Instagram post which went viral for its call for a boycott included the photographs which have now been deleted elsewhere. To view them, you can press the white arrow on the left of the post.)
The petition, which you can view here, targets ITV/Love Island and is titled "Remove Ollie Williams from Winter Love Island for Trophy Hunting", and at the time of writing has almost 36,000 signatures with a goal of reaching 50,000.
"Ollie Williams who is due to enter Winter Love Island has been exposed as a bloodthirsty big trophy hunter.
"He has proudly posed with an array of dead endangered animals including warthog and water buffalos among other animals he killed in Africa in order to promote his hunting business, Cornish Sporting Agency.
"The disgusting photos were posted on an Instagram account that was deleted before it was announced that Ollie would be one of the contestants joining the winter series of Love Island in South Africa.
"ITV allowing him to be on the show is implying that they are okay with his sick and sadistic hobby.
"Ollie Williams should not be allowed to take part or compete in the Love Island series and he should not be allowed on a such a public platform."
As the outrage erupted across social media, friends of Mr Williams came to his defence, with one source telling The Mirror that the Love Island contestant was not a trophy hunter but a conservationist who was culling sick animals.
"Ollie is a passionate conservationist and worked with an anti-poaching unit in Mozambique," the source told the newspaper.
"Conservation is crucial to the survival of animals and as part of that work Ollie was involved in the culling of sick animals who were a threat to the health of the herd.
"There is a very big and important difference between trophy hunting and the conversation work Ollie has previously been involved in.
"At no point has Ollie organised or booked anybody to go to Africa to shoot game," the source claimed.
The winner of last season's Love Island was Limerick man Greg O'Shea, a rugby player who stole the show despite only arriving in the villa for the final two weeks.