A 37-year-old female hunter from Kentucky, Tess Talley, is facing major backlash after she shot and killed an elderly male giraffe while on a hunting trip in South Africa.
The trip happened in the summer of 2017 even though the photo of the hunter with the animal’s carcass went viral a year after. The source was from a post on her Facebook which has been deleted.
The photo was titled “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile.”
From then on, the female hunter has faced huge outrage from animal lovers and animal organizations.
The Story of Killing Rare Black Giraffe for Fun Goes Viral
The AfricaDigest have called Talley a “white American savage who is partly neanderthal” in a post on Twitter which has been shared more than 40,000 times. Several public figures and animal lovers have also shared their dissatisfaction with Talley’s hunting.
The popular musician Moby called the hunter “broken and soulless” and the journalist John Simpson referred to her as an “idiot woman”.
The star from Will & Grace, Debra Messing, wrote that Talley is a “disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer” and a person with a “black heart”.
The Controversy around Hunting
Hunting giraffes is legal in South Africa; however, Talley’s story has been raising alarms about the intentional killing of animals as trophies, especially given the fact that there are less than 100,000 of them in the world.
Trophy hunting is a business in which hunters pay for a permission to kill rare animals which brings a lot of money. Many promoters justify this horrible act claiming that the money from hunters is being invested in animal conservation.
Believe it or not, the industry of big game in South Africa, including hunting, breeding, and tourism is worth 2 billion dollars per year.
Talley’s Response to the Backlash
Talley responded to the negative comments with a statement for CBS News and said that this is called conservation through game management and noted that the giraffe she killed was old and prone to attacking younger giraffes.
She adds that with this giraffe gone, the younger ones can breed freely.
Recently, she has also said that she’s proud to hunt and regrets nothing. She explains she felt joyous while hunting and that she will be going again.
In her Fox News statement, she defended her actions by claiming that the breed isn’t rare-but old. She notes that giraffes get darker as they age.