Kentucky woman posing with slain giraffe sparks online outrage

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Giraffes eat iced fruits given out to help them endure the summer heat at South Korea's Everland Amusement and Animal Park in Yongin, south of Seoul, on June 21, 2018. (AFP)
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Giraffes wait patiently for their food treats and other tasty decorations in their exhibit at Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, in this December 9, 2014 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2018

Kentucky woman posing with slain giraffe sparks online outrage

  • Giraffes were classified as “vulnerable” in 2016 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which manages the list of endangered species worldwide
  • Talley defended herself in an email to Fox News in a story posted on its website, saying the giraffe was a member of a South African sub-species that is not rare

WASHINGTON: Images of a Kentucky hunter posing with the body of a black giraffe she killed in South Africa have triggered an online backlash after going viral on social media.
Thousands of Twitter users expressed outrage at Tess Thompson Talley, 37, for killing the giraffe on a hunting trip last summer.
“Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile,” Talley wrote in a since-deleted post on Facebook, according to USA Today.
The post said the animal was more than 18 years old, weighed 4,000 lbs and yielded 2,000 lbs of meat. On average, giraffes have a 25-year lifespan, according to National Geographic.
Efforts to reach Talley for comment were unsuccessful.
The pictures went viral only recently after being reposted on Twitter last month by the website Africalandpost. The online condemnation was swift.
Debra Messing, an actress best known for her role in the NBC TV series “Will and Grace,” described Talley on Instagram as a “disgusting, vile, amoral, heartless, selfish murderer.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais, who often posts about animal conservation issues, called Talley a profanity on Twitter and lamented giraffes being endangered.
Talley defended herself in an email to Fox News in a story posted on its website, saying the giraffe was a member of a South African sub-species that is not rare.
“The numbers of this sub-species is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting,” she said.
Big game hunting is legal in South Africa, where the industry and related tourism brings in $2 billion annually, according to the BBC.
Giraffes were classified as “vulnerable” in 2016 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which manages the list of endangered species worldwide. The number of giraffes in sub-Saharan Africa has dropped by nearly 40 percent since 1985, according to the organization.
Talley is not the first American who has come under fire for big game hunting. In 2015 a Minneapolis dentist prompted fury for killing Cecil, a famous Zimbabwean lion.
US President Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric both enjoy big-game hunting, according to their father. Pictures of them posing with animals they had killed in 2011, including a leopard, drew criticism after resurfacing in 2016.
In March, the US Fish and Wildlife Service allowed for some big game trophies to be imported from Africa on a case-by-case basis, reversing a ban initiated under Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama.


Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

Updated 04 December 2019

Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

DUBAI: Expo 2020, being billed as the world’s greatest show, will feature sustainability as one of the integral pillars when the six-month event opens in October next year.

And Finland’s real-life Santa Claus is spreading the message of sustainability and the importance of adapting a circular economy to combat climate crisis, one of the most pressing issues the global community is now facing.

During a recent visit at Arbor School, the UAE’s only ecological school, Santa Claus delivered an open letter challenging those in power to listen to their youth and include them in the conversation surrounding sustainability and environmental issues.

Santa Claus also hoped that his message in the letter would start a wider dialogue about the environment, what we can all do to help heal the planet by adopting a circular economy, which Finland has adopted as a national policy.

During the 2018/2019 school year, over 70,000 children and young people from primary school to university age studied the circular economy as part of Finland’s national curriculum.

“The decline of biodiversity and subsequent challenges made to traditional societies and economic strategies are driving countries to make drastic changes and develop sustainable solutions to guarantee the future our youth deserve. We believe education is the foundation of any significant change,” Marianne Nissilä, Finland’s ambassador to the UAE, said.

“With professions of the future becoming more and more diverse, it is vital we prepare our younger generations by giving them access to the knowledge, understanding and the appetite essential to effect positive change.”

Finland’s pavilion in the Expo 2020 will be centered on its main theme ‘Sharing Future Happiness’ wherein over 100 Finnish companies would showcase globally-leading clean technologies, a circular economy with sustainable use of resources, sustainable energy and digital solutions among others.