'White American savage': Woman criticized online for 'rare' giraffe trophy hunt
Photos of a woman posing with a dead giraffe she apparently killed while on a hunting trip to Africa have sparked outrage online.
The images, originally posted to Twitter on June 16 from an account called AfricaDigest, show a woman posing in front of the dead giraffe with a gun in her hand. In one of the images, the woman is pointing to the sky.
“White American savage who is partly a Neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity,” the tweet states.
White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share pic.twitter.com/hSK93DOOaz— AfricaDigest (@africlandpost) June 16, 2018
The images have caused a firestorm online, including vulgar language from actor Ricky Gervais and harsh comments from actress Debra Messing.
“I am disgusted by people like you Tess,” Messing wrote. “You reek of privilege and ignorance.”
AfricaDigest identified the woman in the photos as Tess Thompson Talley. Other social media posts show the woman posing with several exotic animals.
USA Today reported the giraffe photos were taken from a now-deleted Facebook post from June 2017.
“Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today!” Talley was said to have written in the post. “Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile. I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 (pounds) and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 (pounds) of meat from him."
In a recent email to Fox News, Talley backtracked on calling the giraffe “rare.”
“The number 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. “The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old.”
In 2017, the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council pushed for giraffes to be added to the endangered species list as populations of the animal had fallen 40 per cent since 1985.
According to the Shakari Connection, a website specializing in African hunting, it is legal to hunt for giraffes in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Musician Ted Nugent, who was given two years’ probation in 2012 for illegally killing and transporting an American black bear in Alaska, came to Talley’s defence, saying: “Giraffes must be managed just like deer and elk and bears and cougars.”
Tess Thompson Talley from Nippa, Kentucky is a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer. 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. A rare animal that will be extinct by the time her grandchildren can go and gutlessly sit in the brush with a scope and pull a trigger. It does not take skill to have a ranger track a giraffe for you, and with the aid of night vision glasses and a scope, pull a trigger like some Carnival game. If you need to eat a giraffe? Get a bow and arrow and make it at least a fair fight. I am disgusted by people like you Tess. You reek of privilege and ignorance. Shame on you. And your husband Andrew Claude. Unconscionable. Irreparable damage. Irreplaceable beauty. #tessthompsontalley #trophyhunting #trophyhunter (SWIPE)
People who would enjoy killing an utterly harmless endangered species using a gigantic store bought weapon for entertainment, then pose for a photo like they accomplished a great feat hitting an animal the size of a barn? THEY are the ones we should kick out.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 3, 2018
THIS is how you’re supposed to treat a giraffe, not kill them because you need animal heads on your creepy wall at home. This is @ King.jjaffi from Ghana pic.twitter.com/q0h19yxcoY— prettylittlething (@shann___xx) July 3, 2018
A disgusting worthless animal, posing next to a beautiful giraffe she just murdered for fun. pic.twitter.com/FfR8WjfMKC— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) July 2, 2018
What is wrong with people? .— TheAliQ! (@TheAliQ) June 26, 2018
This is #TessThompsonTalley who has made headlines lately for bragging about killing ‘a rare black giraffe bull’ (pictured)
_#Giraffes are facing a silent extinction. Their population has plummeted by 40% in recent… https://t.co/EG09bRn6SS pic.twitter.com/lAYivIm4gQ
#TessThompsonTalley, Tess very proud of you and your efforts for conversation. You are to be commended for your excellent choice of game and quality hunts. I’m sorry for the unintelligent people that try to shame you for doing the right thing in harvesting this beautiful animal.— Robert McBrayer (@rwmcbrayer) July 2, 2018
You folks busting Miss #tessthompsontalley down are wrong. Hunting is conservation. No where in the world hunting is more regulated than South Africa. The bull was old and mean.Biologists choose this bull to be culled. Rather he kills more younger bulls ??(decision time)— Shawn (@alaskanshawn) July 1, 2018