A big game hunter from Utah is the focus of a wave of Internet outrage after comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted a photo of her lying next to a freshly-killed giraffe.
The New York Daily News reported that Rebecca Francis has been receiving death threats after the photo went viral.
"We hunt elk and deer every year without fail, even through pregnancy, and nursing babies. Our hunting trips are self-guided," Francis wrote on her website.
"I prefer bowhunting," she said, "and the animals I have taken with a bow include: a 10 1/2 ft. brown bear, black bear, shiras moose, alaskan moose, dall sheep, stone sheep, desert bighorn ram, rocky mountain bighorn ram, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, mountain goat, antelope, arapawa ram, kudu, zebra, black wildebeest, giraffe, springbuck, blesbuck, lynx, badger, and squirrel. I have also taken many of the same species and more with a rifle."
Disgusted, Gervais posted a photo of Francis smiling next to the corpse of a dead giraffe on Twitter, writing, "What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?"
Francis said on HuntingLife.com's Facebook page that natives had asked her to kill the giraffe so that they could have the meat. The animal, she said, was "inevitably going to die soon."
The kill took place five years ago, she said, and was an act of "euthanasia," because the animal was near death anyway.
"I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second,” she insisted. “Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat.”
"They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him,” Francis continued. “I am grateful to be a part of something so good."