Though the hunt took place last year, photos of a Kentucky woman posing with a slain “black” giraffe are causing people to lose their minds on social media.
What brought the matter to light is when the AfricaDigest posted the pics to Twitter last month with the following caption:
“White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey [sic] of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share”
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
Tess Thompson Talley, the embattled hunter, has defended what was presumably a lawful and ethical hunt.
“Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today!” she said in a Facebook post when she originally posted the pics. “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 lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat from him.”
Talley has since deleted her Facebook post. But she did talk to Fox News about the experience.
“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. The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age,” said Talley.
Talley also explained that the 18-year-old bull she killed was too old to breed and was a threat to younger bulls. She was told that it had already killed three younger, virile bulls that were capable of producing offspring.
“This is called conservation through game management,” said Talley, noting that it wasn’t a “canned hunt.”
Despite the facts, several Hollywood elites are attacking Talley.
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… https://t.co/gG9CWX4oXl
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) June 27, 2018
Comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted, “Giraffes are now on the ‘red list’ of endangerment due to a 40% decline over the last 25 years. They could become extinct. Gone forever.” He also called Talley, “spoiled.”
What Gervais doesn’t realize or chooses to ignore is that it’s not hunters who are responsible for the decline in the giraffe population. It’s the agricultural development of Africa over the past two decades that has caused them to become endangered. Turns out that big animals eat a lot of food and when fledgling farmers have to choose between their crops and long-legged eating machines, the answer is easy. It’s their crops, their livelihood, every time! Which means our furry friends are displaced or exterminated.
Without hunters and the millions of dollars generated from big game hunting, these animals would surely go extinct. If Gervais and Messing actually cared about conservation, they wouldn’t be publicly shunning Talley, they’d be praising her. Because spiteful words and misguided outrage on social media aren’t going to save these animals. Only smart and responsible game management will.