“People will say stuff behind a computer screen they’d never say to your face,” said Paul Babaz, president of the hunting advocacy group Safari Club International. “She was hunting in South Africa and giraffes are legal to hunt in South Africa.”
In a statement, Talley said the giraffe she killed last year was more than 18 years old and “beyond breeding age, yet had killed 3 younger bulls… Now that the giraffe is gone, the younger bulls are able to breed.”
According to Babaz, the trophy fee for a giraffe is about $2,000 to $3,000 per animal. He said because money from legal hunting helps support the local community, it provides an incentive to make sure big game animals don’t become extinct.
“Without that….the poachers will come in and kill the animals indiscriminately, which is very unfortunate,” Babaz said.
Talley’s prey was a South African giraffe that had a black coat due to its age. It’s a subspecies whose population is actually up 167 percent since 1979 to more than 21,000, but the giraffe population overall has declined as much as 40 percent. Ho insisted that wildlife tourism is far more beneficial for animals and local communities than trophy hunting.
“U.S. imports, you know, almost 4,000 giraffe trophies for the last 10 years,” Ho said. “Probably every day there’s a giraffe being killed and imported into the U.S. as hunting trophy.”
According to Babaz, Talley ate some of the giraffe’s meat during her hunting trip but gave most of it away to feed more than 200 local villagers, including children at an orphanage. So far, Babaz has not provided us documentation to prove any of that happened.