Photos of a female hunter showing off her “dream kill” — a black giraffe — has stirred emotions among the animal rights and hunting communities.
The images of Tess Thompson Talley of Texas standing proudly next to a dead giraffe bull in Africa have surfaced from a 2017 hunting trip, after the publication, Africland Post tweeted them. “White American savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity,” read the June 16th tweet. “Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share.”
In a June 2017 Facebook post by Thompson Talley, she wrote, “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile. I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat from him.”’
Similar to how human hair grays over time, the coat of some dominant male giraffes darkens from a mustard-and-white color to black, according to Julian Fennessy, Ph.D., co-founder of the organization Giraffe Conservation Foundation, however, supporting research is needed. “The giraffe in the photo is of the South African species Giraffa giraffa, which are not rare— they’re increasing in the wild,” Fennessy tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Legal hunting of giraffe is not a reason for their decline, despite the moral and ethical side of it which is a different story.”
Posted by Tess Thompson Talley on Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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 lion are often targeted, trophy hunting is a $2 billion-per-year industry, reports the BBC. Some people maintain that money made from trophy hunting is funneled back into local communities and even conservation efforts, however, that claim is controversial. In May, President Trump reversed Obama-era protections for endangered animals, reports The Hill.
Thompson Talley did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
Thompson Talley had a few defenders of trophy hunting. However, the overall reaction from social media was negative.
Here's Tess Thompson Talley with her great looking giraffe from her June 2017 South Africa hunt!! Congrats Tess! It…
A 27-year-old lawyer and hunter from Dallas, Texas named Nikki Tate went through an identical experience when her Instagram account, featuring her “addiction” for hunting, went viral in December.
Tate, who says she promotes “ethical hunting,” told Fox News that she received death threats for the photos. “I know other female hunters who have received those kinds of comments, and once I started getting a larger audience [on Instagram], random negative comments would start to trickle in,” she said. “Around 10K followers I would start getting private messages, really nasty and threatening comments.”
In 2015, a dentist named Walter Palmer from Minnesota was globally shunned when he killed a lion named Cecile near a national park in Zimbabwe. According to the April book Lion Hearted by researcher Andrew Loveridge, “Cecil suffered incredible cruelty for at least 10 hours, severely wounded and slowly dying.”
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