Mad Hunter Claims To Be Conservationist

Animal lover and activist Ricky Gervais recently tweeted a photo of huntress Rebecca Francis posing next to the bull giraffe she shot and killed. Gervais accompanied the tweet with this comment:

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 won the reality TV Show Extreme Huntress five years ago, and has since been hosting NBC show ‘Eye of the Hunter’, but she has received a backlash of abuse since Gervais challenged her.

Francis stands by the photo, which was taken five years ago, claiming that in posing with this dead giraffe she was honouring its life. Facebook page HuntingLife.com, which shares macabre photos of proud hunters posing next to the bodies of animals they have shot and killed for fun, supported her actions and shared the following statement from 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 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. 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. I am grateful to be a part of something so good.

Francis has since suggested that the abuse stems from a dislike of female hunters, prompting Gervais to sarcastically tweet:

“I kill lions, giraffes & bears with guns & bows and arrows then pose grinning. Why don’t people like me? Must be because they’re sexist”
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 17, 2015

Trophy hunters have often tried to convince us that they are, in fact, conservationists and they kill endangered game species in order to preserve them. If this argument seems counter-intuitive, that’s because it is.

Firstly, you don’t kill what you claim to protect. Secondly, the money big game hunters pay to shoot animals on organised, canned hunts goes towards farming more animals for the slaughter, rather than  protecting endangered species. Thirdly, if hunting were ever to be labelled ‘conservation’, hunts would need to be closely monitored by state bodies and scientific organisations.

Read this post by One Green Planet for a more detailed explanation of how trophy hunting is not motivated by conservation aims.

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