'It's called conservation': US woman under fire for killing 'rare' giraffe in SA hits back

A Kentucky-born woman has sparked worldwide outrage on social media after posting pictures of a black giraffe she killed during a hunting trip in South Africa.

While Tess Thompson Talley’s trip took place in June 2017, the pictures went viral after surfacing on Twitter in June this year.

According to reports, the 37-year-old posted them on Facebook in 2017 with the caption, “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite a while.”

“I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4000 lbs (1800 kg) and was blessed to be able to get 2000 lbs (900 kg) of meat from him.”

The Facebook post has since been deleted, but the pictures have now sparked international fury.

Even celebrities like US actress Debra Messing and British comedian Ricky Gervais have waded into the fray, with the Will and Grace star calling Talley “a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer”. Ricky’s tweet was laden with expletives, The Guardian reports.

Game management 

But Talley seems to feel quite the opposite about her hunting habit. In a statement to Fox News, she defended herself, saying the black giraffe was part of a sub-species that is not rare at all.

“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,” she said.

She added that giraffe was too old to breed and had killed two younger bulls who were able to procreate, causing the numbers to drop.

“This is called conservation through game management,” said Talley, who insists it was not a “canned” hunt.

"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,'' she said.

 "The very same picture could have been posted, and are posted daily, of men with their trophies and not a word is said.”

Sources: The Guardian, The Washington Post, Fox News