American Tess Thompson Talley, 37, was recently on safari in South Africa. During her safari, she shot a rare, 18-year-old black giraffe. She then went on to share images on social media of herself with her gun, posing in a celebratory manner next to the dead giraffe.

There was an immediate online backlash to the images of the woman posing with the dead giraffe. The general public worldwide, animal rights groups and celebrities alike are outraged. Comedian Ricky Gervais – a well-known animal activist – led the fray in protesting over the unnecessary and outrageous death of the elderly giraffe.

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American hunter visits South Africa

The 37-year-old female hunter visited South Africa last summer to enjoy a paid, hunting safari in the bush. However, it is only recently that the controversial images of the dead giraffe and a celebrating killer of the 4,000 lb animal have widely surfaced on social media.

They have now been shared on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook by various animal rights groups and an outraged online public.

USA Today reports that the original post by Talley said that her prayers for a “once-in-a-lifetime dream hunt had come true. She said she spotted and stalked a “rare black giraffe” for some time before shooting the animal dead. After outrage grew over the images, Talley has removed the post, but the Internet never forgets.

The Evening Standard quotes National Geographic as saying the black giraffe was probably older than 18 years and that giraffes have an average lifespan of 25 years.

The giraffe reportedly weighed 4,000 lbs.

Celebrities erupt over killing of a giraffe

Comedian Ricky Gervais is a prominent animal activist and often tweets about animal conservation issues. On seeing the heartbreaking images, Gervais, asking what is 16 feet in height and pictured on Instagram with a c**t on its neck. Regrettably, that tweet cannot be displayed here due to the strong language.

Debra Messing of “Will and Grace” also posted on Twitter, calling Talley a vile, disgusting, heartless, amoral and selfish murderer.

After all the outrage erupted online, Fox News has since interviewed Talley and she told then the black giraffe was not rare and that it was just a South African sub-species.

According to Talley, numbers of that particular sub-species is increasing, due partly to hunters (canned, paid hunting safaris) visiting the country to kill wild animals and the country’s conservation efforts to earn more from the privilege.

The Evening Standard reports that South Africa earns a massive $2 billion each year for its legal big game hunting. However, in 2016, giraffes were classified as being “vulnerable” by the endangered animal protection organization International Union for the Conservation of Nature. According to experts, the number of sub-Saharan giraffes has dropped by up to 40 percent since the year 1985.

The story brings to mind the international outrage in 2015 over the killing by a Minneapolis dentist of the famous Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. That killing had reportedly been made on private land and was was illegal, but while the safari guide faced charges, the dentist got away with his trophy scotfree.