Comedian and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais stirred things up in the hunting world recently when he posted a photo to social media of a giraffe hunter with a rhetorical question. Apparently the comment sparked death threats toward the hunter.
What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling? pic.twitter.com/DyYw1T5ck2
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 13, 2015
“What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?” the comedian asked.
The giraffe was shot and killed by Rebecca Francis, who has gained notoriety in recent years for having won the Extreme Huntress reality show competition in 2010.
In response to the criticism, Francis wrote in a statement to HuntingLife’s Facebook page that she shot the giraffe on request by the locals in Africa on a hunt that took place five years ago. She said local guides told her the giraffe was close to death and had been kicked out of its herd. The animal would likely die naturally and go to waste, she said.
“He was inevitably going to die soon and he could either be wasted or utilized by the local people. I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second,” she wrote.
On her website and Facebook page, Francis can be seen posing with lots of other big game animals including sheep, moose, bear and lions. The mother to three children, five step-children and eight grandchildren, Francis is not alone in her pursuit of exotic game. Tens of thousands of hunters travel to Africa each year to hunt giraffes for a cost of around $3,000.
Earlier this month, one of the show’s more recent contestants Amanda Rochelle Lowry came under fire for allegedly hunting without a license.