Huntress does not regret killing giraffe 'for one second'
Female hunter Rebecca Francis was bombarded with death threats earlier this week, after Ricky Gervais tweeted an image of her lying smiling next to one of her kills - a bull giraffe.
"What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?" he wrote.
In a statement on HuntingLife.com, the mother-of-five has since responded to the comedian, and the backlash she received following his post.
"When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mindset that I would never shoot a giraffe," she wrote.
"I was approached toward the end of my hunt with a unique circumstance. They showed me this beautiful old bull giraffe that was wandering all alone. He had been kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull. He was past his breeding years and very close to death.
"They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival. He was inevitably going to die soon and he could either be wasted or utilized by the local people.
"I chose to honor[sic] his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second. Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat. They also took his tail to make jewelry[sic], his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him.
"I am grateful to be a part of something so good."
"To a hunter every animal they take cleanly and ethically is a trophy and a memory that will last forever," HuntingLife.com, who describes Francis as a "hunter/conservationist", wrote in support of Francis. "We are a prideful human species and we have been documenting our hunts for the last 75,000 years in petroglyphs and not in photographs. Nothing has changed."
But her statement has done little to quieten the criticism she's received online.
"I hope the next picture shows her smiling and standing over the body of a HuntingLife.com executive," one follower commented underneath the post on Facebook.