Kentucky hunter Tess Thompson Talley has caused a media firestorm for posting photos of herself posing next to the corpse of an 18-year-old black giraffe. While Talley posted the photos on Facebook in 2017, they went largely unnoticed until Africa Digest shared her year-old photos on Twitter this June, tweeting, "White American savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoots down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share."
Talley, who originally uploaded these photos from her South African hunting trip in 2017, lauded her victory at the time, claiming that she had fulfilled a lifelong dream by killing a rare black giraffe, stating that she "was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat from him."
While she received praise from the Facebook page "Hunters Against PETA" around 10 months ago, Africa Digest's tweet has sparked a collective outrage. Actress Debra Messing called Talley "a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer." Messing also tweeted, "Giraffes are the epitome of gentle giants," claiming that Talley has a "black heart."
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais chimed in as well, claiming that giraffes are at risk of becoming endangered. Not holding back, the outspoken comedian continued to comment on the situation, tweeting, "They could become extinct. Gone forever. And still, we allow spoilt c**** to pay money to shoot them."
The Independent reported Monday that Tess Thompson Talley could not be reached to comment on these newly resurfaced pictures. However, Talley released a statement to Fox News, defending herself. In the statement she claims that the giraffe she hunted was not a rare species, but rare in age, explaining, "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."
Co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Julian Fennessy confirmed that the giraffe in Talley's photo is not, in fact, rare, noting that the species, Giraffa giraffa, are actually "increasing in the wild." Fennessy went on to add that "Legal hunting of giraffe is not a reason for their decline, despite the moral and ethical side of it which is a different story."
In her statement to Fox News, Talley revealed that she received threats and insults, adding that "If it was any other belief, threats and insults would be deemed hideous."