The comedian sparked a social media firestorm after criticizing Francis for taking a grinning photograph with the animal she killed

Advertisement
Image
Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

Ricky Gervais lashed out at hunter Rebecca Francis via Twitter on Sunday, criticizing a photo she took with a giraffe that she’d killed.

“What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal and then lie next to it smiling?” the comedian posted to his 7.1 million followers.

Francis, who won the reality TV show Extreme Huntress in 2010, was photographed grinning as she lay on the ground next to the animal she had killed in Africa the same year she appeared on the show.

Gervais’ comment sparked a firestorm of outrage from his followers, some of whom even wished Francis the same fate as her animal trophies.

But despite the backlash, Francis defended the photograph in a statement to HuntingLife.com. According to her, the giraffe in the photograph “was past his breeding years and very close to death” and had been “kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull.” Francis says she was asked to “preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival.

“I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second.”

Francis’ defense only seemed to caused more criticism. “Personally i dont see how she could stand at the side of the animal with a big smile on her face even if she did do it a favour, shes posing like she has a trophy!” wrote Craig Oliver, in one of the most “Liked” responses on the website’s Facebook page.

Gervais, a vocal animal activist, continues to speak out in support of conservation, Tweeting this week about the extinction of the West African black rhino, orphaned elephants and Army veterans who defend animals against poachers.

Miranda Lambert’s Other Calling: Rescuing Animals