Comedian Ricky Gervais used his prominent social media presence this week to draw attention to a photo of hunter Rebecca Francis lying next to a giraffe she had just killed:
Gervais’ criticism garnered over 200K likes and 100K shares on Facebook, plus tens of thousands for a cognate post on Twitter, but — because this is the internet — also led to death threats for Francis.
When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mindset that I would never shoot a giraffe. 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 utilised (sic) by the local people. I chose to honour (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 jewellery, 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.
Gervais, whose feed is almost entirely dedicated to animal protection, continued to tweet about Francis throughout the week, and responded to some detractors of his own:
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 15, 2015
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 16, 2015
[Image via screengrab]
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