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Animal Rights Activists Slam Huntress for Killing 'Rare' African Giraffe That Isn't Actually Rare

Critics accused the huntress of being a murderer and said she deserves to be abused and shamed.

Brian Sedgbeer/Dreamstime.comBrian Sedgbeer/Dreamstime.comAn American huntress who shot and killed a supposedly rare giraffe in South Africa is facing widespread backlash from animal rights activists. But the creature in question does not, in fact, appear to be all that rare.

Photos posted to Twitter last month by the South African media outlet Africland Post showed a woman posing next to a "rare" dead giraffe. "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 outlet declared:

The woman, Kentucky resident Tess Thompson Talley, went on the hunt last June and had originally posted the photos to Facebook. "Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite a while. I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4000 lbs. and was blessed to be able to get 2000 lbs. of meat from him," she wrote on the social media platform at the time.

Though the hunt was more than a year ago, Talley has faced criticism in recent days from animal rights activists due to the Africland Post tweet, with some people saying she deserves to be abused and shamed:

Actress Debra Messing even said on Twitter that Talley is "a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer."

Talley has defended herself from the critics, telling Fox News that the breed of giraffe she killed was far from endangered. "The giraffe I hunted was the South African subspecies of giraffe. The numbers of this subspecies 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," Talley said.

She also claimed that the 18-year-old giraffe she killed was not able to breed and had killed three younger giraffes, which would mean its actions were actually decreasing the population of the subspecies.

Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, seems to agree with Talley. "The giraffe in the photo is of the South African species, which are not rare—they're increasing in the wild," Fennessy tells Yahoo. "Legal hunting of giraffe is not a reason for their decline, despite the moral and ethical side of it which is a different story."

This is not the first time an American trophy hunter has come under fire for his or her legal exploits in Africa. Recall Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, who received global criticism for killing a lion named Cecil during a 2015 trip to Zimbabwe.

Palmer's case is somewhat different in that the the lion in question was indeed rare. Still, it's worth asking: Is it ever acceptable to hunt endangered animals?

Reason's Nick Gillepsie thinks it is. "One thing that we know that helps endangered animals more than endangered species lists," Gillepsie said in 2011, "is actually giving people ownership rights over animals":

"In a libertarian society," he continued, "there would be ownership of more types of animals, and there would be more types of animals." Ownership would encourage conservation, but it wouldn't end hunting. Not only would people "be able to hunt and eat those endangered animals," but they could also "prepare them with an absinthe sauce, or a heroin sauce, or a cocaine sauce, and the world would be a better place."

Photo Credit: Brian Sedgbeer/Dreamstime.com

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  • ||

    White american savage who is partly a neanderthal

    Boy - dehumanize much?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yes because it's ok to hunt non-human animals.

    Oh wait ....

  • Citizen X||

    Everybody on Earth who isn't a full-blooded sub-Saharan African is about 1-4% Neanderthal, so it's technically accurate but meaningless.

  • Cathy L||

    It doesn't seem meaningless at all. It screams pan-African-nationalist, anti-European bigotry.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    It really does.

  • Citizen X||

    I mean "technically meaningless." People are gonna read anything they want into it, obviously, but it is an accurate description that applies to most living people.

  • Zeb||

    Have you checked in on the South African political climate lately? Not a surprise.

  • The_Hoser||

    Oh, you mean the kind that doesn't matter!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Make Rorke's Drift Great Again.

  • Unable2Reason||

    Hmmmm. Where is that copy of Zulu?

  • Longtobefree||

    You Tube

  • Echo Chamber||

    "was blessed to be able to get 2000 lbs. of meat from him"
    Oh yea, giraffe for dinner again!

  • crufus||

    8000 tasty giraffe quarter pounders.

  • Just Say'n||

    Do you know what they call a giraffe quarter pounder in the UK?

  • Rhywun||

    "Asian"...?

  • Just Say'n||

    "Illegal", because everything is illegal in the UK. Actually, mentioning that online is probably illegal too

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I have a suspicion that 18 year old giraffe meat isn't the best.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I'd take tough, stringy, gamey meat over nothing any day of the week.

  • crufus||

    'prepare them with an absinthe sauce, or a heroin sauce, or a cocaine sauce, and the world would be a better place."'

    Can't wait to read Nick's cooking blog. Would something really taste better with your mouth numb from coke?

  • Just Say'n||

    That's not Nick. It's an impostor. The man in the video is not wearing a leather jacket.

  • Citizen X||

    Nick's cooking blog is several entries in a row of him ordering Pad Thai from this awesome little place down the street, and then falling asleep before it gets there.

  • crufus||

    Followed by a picture on Instagram of the delicious Thai food and a giraffe burger smothered in chili and coke fish sauce.

  • Zeb||

    Would something really taste better with your mouth numb from coke?

    That is going to depend a lot on how good it tastes without cocaine sauce.

  • perlchpr||

    Yeah... I have definitely put things in my mouth before, where I then immediately wished that I did not, in fact, possess taste buds. Or more accurately, I suppose, that I had not put it in my mouth.

  • The_Hoser||

    Can't wait to read Nick's cooking blog. Would something really taste better with your mouth numb from coke?

    I bet Mick Jagger ran that experiment on Margaret Trudeau.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Every major newspaper/news organization needs an Outrage Editor.

    The job will require a lot of time browsing Twitter.

  • Eddy||

    That's not fair, they'd also have to browse Reddit.

  • ||

    Familiarity with 4Chan a plus, but not required.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Every major newspaper/news organization needs an Outrage Editor.

    Not so long as every major newspaper has anti-abortion kooks and gun nuts who write letters to the editor.

  • The_Hoser||

    Not so long as every major newspaper has anti-abortion kooks

    You might know them locally as "people not in favour of murder."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If you have information concerning a murder, the sole course for a decent adult would be to alert the proper authorities.

    If you do not have information about a murder, the sole decent course would be to stop spouting superstitious nonsense while adults are engaging in reasoned debate concerning public affairs.

    Childhood indoctrination faded as an excuse for your gullibility years ago.

  • Eddy||

    Oh, a *black* giraffe? What a racist.

    /sarc

  • Hugh Akston||

    Licensed hunting of big game in Africa funds habitat preservation and animal conservation work.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    And goes the natives (who have to live with the pests) incentive to NOT treat animals live vermin.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. Do these people freaking out over big game hunting think that poor African farmers like having a lot of elephants and giraffes around?

  • perlchpr||

    Are we supposed to care about African farmers? I thought the wildlife on the African continent was the only thing of any actual value to the leftists.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Well sure, now that we've killed off the only trade they really were committed to.

  • LarryA||

    And gives the natives (who have to live with the pests) incentive to NOT treat animals live vermin.

    Plus, guess who gets to split the 2,000 lbs. of meat?

  • LarryA||

    Licensed hunting of big game in Africa funds habitat preservation and animal conservation work.

    Here in the U.S. between Pittman-Robertson funding and license fees, hunters and shooters provide about 75% of wildlife program funding.

  • ||

    Lets share it and give her as much abuse as possible!

    Retweet if you want to be a part of the class action defamation suit that gives her the money to go back to Africa on another safari!

    I'm not big on the whole silencing free speech thing, but this one pretty clearly incites targeted abuse against an individual. I don't disagree that it likely implies Twitter-based abuse, but still...

  • Longtobefree||

    Certainly no trouble proving malice - - - - - -

  • damikesc||

    Nice to see the measured psychotic ramblings of Messing on any issue.

  • Just Say'n||

    Messing is rather insane. And we all know that Will and Grace was always a terrible show. If you want humor where every punchline isn't "guess what, I'm gay" but still features a gay cast member then "Ellen" is clearly a better option.

  • Rhywun||

    Agreed on both counts. I actually stopped watching Ellen long before she totally shocked the world with that relevation, but from what I saw it was a decent show.

    Will and Grace was just awful in every which way.

  • Just Say'n||

    Also, Ellen Degeneris is a hilarious comedian who does the whole "observational humor" that was popular in the 90's. Will and Grace was always just lousy jokes with the whole premise of the show being "get it, they're gay". Lazy humor

  • Rhywun||

    Bitchy Karen was the only redeeming thing on that show. Obviously not-gay Will was a tedious bore and Grace was... forgettable.

  • damikesc||

    Ellen was a terrific stand up. The first sesson of her sitcom was good. Season 2 sucked something fierce.

    Will and Grace was awful. I have never seen Messing in anything good.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    She had some cop show which I liked enough to watch the whole season on Netflix. Never saw Will & Grace.

  • ||

    Also, Ellen Degeneris is a hilarious comedian who does the whole "observational humor" that was popular in the 90's.

    While I'll give her that she was better than the cast of Will and Grace, lets not pretend that the peak of her career was anything besides talks show humor, okay? Her comedy/TV career was a rather decided bomb (twice) until she came out as gay and she's enormously popular in a genre where better comedians regularly rank below people like Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, and Carson Daily.

  • Zeb||

    I don't believe I've ever seen her talk show, but I thought she was a good standup. Peak of career doesn't always align with best work.

  • ||

    Peak of career doesn't always align with best work.

    Sure, and when the peak of your career has you well below your peers in terms of pull and your best work isn't comedy, 'hilarious comedian' might not describe you.

    I've never seen her talk show and every interaction I've had with someone who has leads me to believe she's successful specifically because her comedy doesn't get in the way of the personal or celebrity interest parts of the show.

    I freely admit to being heavily tainted by her show. I remember watching it and thinking both what a terrible actress she was *and/or* how transparently her show was about her life. It wasn't funny and in comparison to the likes of Bob Newhart, Jerry Seinfeld, or Gary Shandling (or later Larry David) who's shows were nominally about their life it made her seem personally unfunny by comparison.

  • ||

    tainted by her show

    Her twice-failed sitcom that is.

  • Zeb||

    Well, I think she was a quite good non-political, mostly non-dirty comedian.

  • JSR2||

    This exactly. I never thought she was all that funny and coming out as gay didn't change that opinion. However, that seems not to be the case with some people who now think she's the funniest thing around.

  • NoVaNick||

    Give it a few years, someone will decide that giraffe meat is "sustainable" and giraffe Korean tacos will start to appear at a hipster café near you.

  • ||

    Did Reason collectively give up on food trucks?

  • Rhywun||

    Actress Debra Messing is a disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer.

    That's how this Twitter thing works, right? Well, once I copy and paste it there.

  • ||

    Again, while I wholly defend free speech at virtually all corners, I don't think "Let's give [named person] as much abuse as possible!" necessarily counts. "Fuck whitey!" I get. Nobody knows who whitey is and 'fuck' can be broad, vague, or non-threatening term. "[named person] is an asshole!" I get. Sure, the person is specifically named but their status as an asshole can be a matter of opinion. "Abuse [named person]!", to me, is a direct call to a larger audience to abuse (physically or otherwise) a specifically targeted person and doesn't exactly fall under free-speech guidelines.

    It will be interesting to see how long Twitter leaves it up.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I don't think "Let's give [named person] as much abuse as possible!" necessarily counts.

    Libertarians For Censorship (But Totally Cool Because Motivated By Concern For Snowflakes)?

    I don't call you a liar, though. Maybe you really are dumb enough to believe you defend free speech.

  • Jumpous||

    You mentioned censorship, not him. He was clearly discussing the possibility of consequences for actionable speech, not endorsing it.

    Can you actually read? Or do you make up the replies in advance and just pepper the comments with them?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I read his first sentence and understood it.

    Get someone who was educated to try to explain it to you.

  • ||

    Why don't you just come out and say that you'd personally abuse Tess Thompson Talley if yourself if you had a chance?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    A... giraffe? People wake up with the dream to test themselves by hunting... a giraffe?

    That's pretty fucking lame lady.

    (insert the "actually" crowd to tell me it isn't lame for reasons, while not realizing it is still lame)

  • Just Say'n||

    Actually, giraffes are vicious animals. Or probably not. Yeah, actually, I think I confused "vicious" with "docile".

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    For a herbivore, a Giraffe is notably non-docile. Water buffalo are worse tempered, and hippos kill more people, but a giraffe can kill an adult lion with one kick, and does it often enough to not be a fluke.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Hopefully that's as close to a "well actually" we get.

  • A Kasic||

    Defending against a lion attack makes them "notably non-docile" I guess.

  • Longtobefree||

    Ask the three other Giraffes that the bully killed what they think about 'docile'.
    Oh wait, left wing doctrine requires us to state that man is the only animal that kills it own kind - - - - - - - -

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    I mean, if you were a large, relatively slow, gangly herbivore with a head 10+ feet above the ground carrying around a ton of delicious fresh meat and you lived in a habitat full of lions and tigers and their ilk, you'd probably learn to be non-docile too.

  • Bubba Jones||

    For $5 you can feed giraffe at a zoo.

    To me this does not correlate with dream hunt.

  • LarryA||

    Of course this giraffe was old, and he was killing other giraffes. So he needed killing anyway. Not unlike the rhino the Safari Club was castigated for auctioning off.

    "Oh," says Messing. "But if you were old, how would you like to be hunted down."

    First off, I am old. Second, if I had dementia and was going around killing people I would be "hunted down" and removed from the herd. I wouldn't like it, but I would expect it.

  • Citizen X||

    Giraffes will stomp a lion to death like it ain't a thing, but lions don't hunt with rifles, so i'm not exactly sure what part of shooting this giraffe qualifies it as a "dream."

  • Zeb||

    Well, actually...

    I'm sure none of your favorite leisure activities, or "bucket list" items are lame at all.

    And fuck giraffes anyway. I've never met a giraffe that wasn't a dick to me.

  • MasterThief||

    I don't really like hunting in general (save for doing it for food and controlling against overpopulation.)
    It's hard for me to see exotic big game killed by rich tourists without getting a little upset. I suppose if it helps fund conservation efforts then it at least does some good in limiting poaching and hedging against overhunting.

  • Zeb||

    I think that's a reasonable way to feel about it. I don't care so much myself, but I understand.

    But one's emotional reaction shouldn't drive policy preferences and I do believe that well managed hunting is the thing most likely to save large mammals from extinction.

  • Rhywun||

    It must be exhausting trawling around Twitter all day looking for stuff to be "sick with rage" at.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    I see what they're trying to do with the Neanderthal thing, but it's sort of an own goal. How advanced can your society be if you were given the Conan treatment by a bunch of diluted Neanderthals?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Huh. Doesn't that mean that Neanderthal descendants are the ultimate in oppressed minorities? I wouldn't stress that too much.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Follow up tweet by Kay: "Wish she'd put her gun to good use for once and blow her own fucking head off."

    I wish Kay would put his anti-depressant medications and alcohol addiction to good use and die of an overdose.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Clicked through to the Kay twitter account - wish I hadn't but nothing I can do about it now - and the current most recent thing on there is a retweet of one from Rick Gervais, in which he says that by saying that people like this huntress (nice word) "exploit the needs of the poor".

    How, you ask? Ricky explains in his next couple of sentences, but it paraphrases as "by paying them money to be allowed to stay over there and hunt". No shit. Making the poor a little less poor by paying them for something is "exploiting their needs". Let them stay poor in their muddy hovels, you colonizer!

  • damikesc||

    How dare the poor be allowed to make money. Better let them sit in poverty and be eaten by bugs.

  • LarryA||

    Not just the money. Locals usually split up most of that ton of meat.

    So I guess the hunter is preventing them from being vegans. The horror!

  • ||

    Making the poor a little less poor by paying them for something is "exploiting their needs".

    I've never hunted a giraffe in Africa but I'm guessing you and Ricky might have a slightly different definition of 'a little less poor' than the rest of us.

    I'd be interested to see how many Africans survived for how long on her contribution relative to any given contribution by Gervais.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    She prayed that she could kill a giraffe?

    What's the bigger joke, her character or the paltry god she imagines?

    I do not fault people who kill for food, so long as hunters stay off private property and away from residences. People who kill for sport and boast about it, however, tend to be devoid of character.

    Perhaps her dog will wander onto someone's property and be shot in the head. Then, after someone eats the meat (in a just, libertarian world), she can ponder how "blessed" someone was to have harvested the mutt for a fine plate of whatever the hell someone would do with dog meat.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    What's the bigger joke, her character or the paltry god she imagines?

    C. Arthur L. Hicklib's entire life of self-loathing.

  • Eddy||

    Actually, she wished for a beer in a long neck bottle, but the genie was hard of hearing and thought she said "battle something with a long neck."

  • LarryA||

    I do not fault people who kill for food,

    "He was over 18 years old, 4000 lbs. and was blessed to be able to get 2000 lbs. of meat from him,"

    Meat which will feed local villagers.

  • DenverJ||

    I like my giraffes drug free and my drugs giraffe free, thank you.

  • creech||

    Sounds to me she rid the world of a murderous giraffe that was killing its own kind.

  • ||

    An assault giraffe with the thing that goes up and everything!

  • Agammamon||

    Animal Rights Activists Slam Huntress for Killing 'Rare' African Giraffe That Isn't Actually Rare

    Helena Bertinelli?

  • macsnafu||

    In all fairness, it was Talley who used the word "rare" in her Facebook post. You can't expect her critics to do their research before recklessly lashing out, can you?

    ;-)

  • Paulpemb||

    First, they came for conservative speakers on campus, and I wasn't a conservative speaker so I said nothing...

    Then, they came for Trump's cabinet, and I wasn't in Trump's cabinet so I said nothing...

    Then, they came for people who posted pictures of their big game hunts on Facebook, and I wasn't a big game hunter so I said nothing...

  • Longtobefree||

    Then they came for me, and found I had read the second amendment.

  • Paulpemb||

    Also, somebody needs to post the picture of Steven Spielberg standing next to the 'dead' Triceratops from the set of Jurassic Park again and see how many of these lunatics we can get to fall for it this time.

  • Pat001||

    If you want to go big game hunting stay off of social media.

  • Longtobefree||

    Good point; it's not like this was a free country or anything

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