The evil giraffe hunter who went viral isn't sorry at all after massive social media backlash
A few weeks ago, news of a rare black giraffe that was shot and killed by a trophy hunter went viral after images of the slain animal were posted on social media. The hunter was identified as Tess Thompson Talley, a 37-year-old American woman who has achieved a level of notoriety on the internet for killing wild animals.
"Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile," Talley wrote in a Facebook post, which was later shared by an organisation called Africa Digest.
Though she later deleted the post, along with the pictures, they had already been shared by hundreds of people, and Talley has been receiving a huge amount of backlash as a result. However, despite all the criticism she's receiving, the hunter says she has no regrets about killing the giraffe - nor any other animal, for that matter.
"It is something I believe in," Talley told the Daily Mail. "This is more than a hobby for me, it's a passion."
The Texas-based hunter, who has garnered media attention a few times before on account of her controversial hobby, also tried to argue that she didn't do anything wrong by shooting the animal, and - much to the contrary - was actually helping the giraffe population, as well as the local community.
"Other people benefited," she said. "The safari company, the village, the locals, the economy, they all benefited."
"This giraffe had killed three younger ones that would have bred. As I was hunting him I was walking over their bones. The herd is flourishing now that he is gone.
"He was 18. He was going out. If you have a dog and it gets old or ill, you take it and you have it put down. This was the same."
But that hasn't stopped her receiving death threats.
"If you post something you believe in, whether it's hunting, religion or politics, there is someone there to hate on you," she explained. "And I'm a woman so they are going to make it worse. Men don't get the grief."
Her husband, 43-year-old Andrew Talley, actually posted a warning on Facebook to anyone who dared to take action against their family because of their trophy hunting:
"You people have no concept of what hunting or game management is even about.
"You put human life value below animal rights however you have no issue with wearing your leather belts, boots, carrying your leather purses…all of which are from animals that are tortured before death and not in any way humanly (sic) put down.
"I realize I'm talking to a brick wall with you people, but if you want to message her, threaten her life, please feel free to PM me and I will get you coordinates to where you and I can meet up instead of playing keyboard warrior. You guys talk a big game, but let's see if you can back it up. My wife is very proud of her harvest of the old bull, as am I. So here I am let's see what you got."
Many people believe, though, that if Talley and others like her really cared about the positive side of their actions, they'd forgo the hunting part and just donate money to the organisations who benefit from the death of an animal. However, as this activity is still legal in some parts of the world (and just strategically unregulated in others) it is likely that people will continue to hunt wild game for a long time to come - regardless of the consequences.