Images of a Kentucky hunter posing with the body of a black giraffe she killed in South Africa have triggered an online backlash after going viral on social media.
Thousands of Twitter users expressed outrage at Tess Thompson Talley, 37, for killing the giraffe on a hunting trip last summer.
“Prayers for my once-in-a-lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile,” Talley wrote in a since-deleted post on Facebook.
People’s outrage was further fueled when a South Africa-based AfricLand Post also shared photos of Tess Thompson Talley kneeling beside the slain animal with her gun in hand. In a second picture, she smiles and points towards the sky.
“White American savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share,” the media outlet captioned the June 16 post on Twitter.
In a follow-up tweet, they added, “If our so-called governments cannot care for our wildlife then its time we stand up and responsibility of our continent, lands, resources and wildlife….share share share! and lets have a united voice against pillage of Africa, it’s the only home we have.”
Talley defended the kill in a statement to Today.
“This is called conservation through game management,” she said.
The hunter also claimed that being a woman put her at the receiving end of the backlash.
“For all the people wishing death or even threatening death to me, this does nothing positive for your ‘movement,’ it only shows the world how lopsided your priorities are,” Talley said. “The very same picture could have been posted, and are posted daily, of men with their trophies and not a word is said.”
She continued, “It is by far women that hunt who catch more grief from the ‘tolerant’ and ‘all loving’ animal rights activists. It’s sickening to the majority of people how women are treated all over the world, except in the case of women hunters. You people call yourselves compassionate and caring, yet some of the most vile things have been directed at me and many other women hunters.”
The photos shocked those opposed to hunting and thousands signed various petitions in protest of trophy hunting, a practice The Humane Society calls “unethical, cruel, harmful and unsustainable.”
In South Africa, where animals such as buffalo, elephants, and lions are often targeted, trophy hunting is a $2 billion-per-year industry. Some people maintain that money made from trophy hunting is funneled back into local communities and even conservation efforts, however, that claim is controversial.
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