The latest trophy hunter to spark the internet's rage is a Kentucky woman who posed for a photo with the giraffe she killed on a trip to South Africa. The South Africa-based AfricLand Post website tweeted the pictures earlier this month along with the message, "White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey [sic] of South Africa stupidity." The photos, which were taken during a hunting trip in June 2017, quickly went viral, with many (including actors Ricky Gervais and Debra Messing) sharing them on various social media sites; one Twitter user shared a screenshot of the original Facebook post by Tess Thompson Talley with the pictures, since deleted or made private.
"Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today!" she said in the post, per USA Today. "Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile. ... He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat." But a giraffe expert tells Yahoo! the type of giraffe shown is not rare and its numbers are actually increasing in the wild. Talley defended her kill with a statement to Fox News, saying that the giraffe "was the South African sub-species of giraffe" and that its numbers are "actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting." She added that the "breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old." She also said the giraffe was too old to breed, but had killed three younger males, calling what she did "conservation through game management." (Read more Africa stories.)