A US hunter has come under criticism after pictures taken in South Africa of her posing with a dead giraffe went viral.
Images of the woman, identified as Tess Thompson Talley, posted on the AfricaDigest Twitter account last month have been retweeted thousands of times.
It described her as a “white American savage” and called on people to unite to protect wildlife.
Ms Talley defended the killing in an email quoted by Fox News. She said the trophy kill was helping conservation.
“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,” she is quoted as saying.
Ms Talley hunted the giraffe, which can reportedly provide about 2,000lb (907kg) of meat, last year.
USA Today quotes a deleted post on Facebook where she said: “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile.”
Critics on social media have questioned why it was necessary to kill an animal “for fun”.
Trophy hunting, and related activities, have become controversial issues in South Africa where they are thought to earn the country $2bn (£1.5bn) a year.
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Environmentalists worry about the impact on conservation and bio-diversity as well as the ethics of the business.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the giraffe as “vulnerable”, but notes that in southern Africa its population is increasing because of tourism and the giraffe being a source of food.
Trophy hunters have come under criticism before:
- In 2015 another American hunter, Rebecca Francis, was pictured smiling as she lay next to a dead giraffe.
- In the same year the killing of Cecil the lion just outside Zimbabwe’s protected Hwange National Park made headline news around the world.
Giraffe hunter criticised for dead giraffe pose in South Africa