A female hunter from the US is facing a furious backlash on social media after photos emerged of her posing with a dead giraffe she had just killed.
Tess Thompson Talley, 37, from Kentucky, was pictured alongside the black giraffe in various poses.
The images, which had been uploaded to social media, were from what she called a “once in a lifetime dream hunt” in South Africa last year.
When she posted the pictures to her Facebook page, 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, 4,000lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000lbs of meat from him.”
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The dominant male giraffe’s yellow patches darken over time as the animal gets older.
Ms Talley posed for several pictures with the dead giraffe, including one with its head wrapped around her.
The photos only drew social media attention after they were shared by news outlet Africa Digest last week.
It tweeted: “White American savage who is partly a Neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity.”
Since the backlash, Ms Talley has made her Facebook profile private.
The photos drew anger from Twitter users, celebrities and animal rights campaigners.
Will and Grace actress Debra Messing called Ms Talley a “disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer”.
In an Instagram post, the actress wrote: “With joy in her black heart and a beaming smile she lies next to the dead carcass of a *rare* black giraffe in South Africa.
“Giraffes are the epitome of gentle giants. They glide across the plains, like liquid; awe inspiring creatures who spend their days eating leaves and caring for their young. How DARE she.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais, who often comments when hunters post pictures of themselves with the animals they have just killed, took to Twitter to give his view.
He tweeted: “Giraffes are now on the ‘red list’ of endangerment due to a 40% decline over the last 25 years.
“They could become extinct. Gone forever. And still, we allow spoilt ****s to pay money to shoot them with a bow and arrow for fun.”
Ms Talley, who has received death threats over the photos, told Fox News the giraffe was 18 and too old to breed.
She said: “This is called conservation through game management.
“The giraffe I hunted was the South African sub-species of giraffe. The numbers of this sub-species is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting.
“The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age.”