It was in 2017 when the photo of Texan Tess Talley went viral. The image was of Talley with a giraffe that she had shot, and it naturally got the attention of many and prompted outrage from all over the world.

Now, Talley is defending her actions, saying that it is something that she loves to do, and that she was doing it for conservation.

‘I Am Proud To Hunt’

In an interview with CBS some two years after the viral photo, Talley is still firm on her actions. She says that she is still hunting, and states that it is a hobby that she really loves to do. She also claims that it was a part of a conservation hunt that was designed to control the amount of wildlife in an area. However, when asked why she wouldn’t just donate money if conservation was her goal, she stated that she would rather do what she loves rather than not know exactly where the money is going, also noting that she is a hunter and not a conservationist.

“I am proud to hunt,” Talley said. “You do what you love to do. It's joy. If you don't love what you do, you're not gonna continue to do it.”

Of the giraffe that Talley shot in 2017, she has turned its skin into decorative pillows and a gun case. That said, she did say that she would not hunt animals if it did not lead to conservation.

Giraffes And The Endangered Species Act

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that giraffes may soon be qualified to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Giraffes are gravely in danger because of over-hunting, habitat loss, civil unrest, as well as the international trade for giraffe parts.

In fact, the United States is a large market for giraffe parts. In the last decade alone, 3,700 hunting trophies, 3,000 skin pieces, and 21,400 bone fragments were imported into the country. If giraffes will be placed under the protection of the ESA, this might limit import and trade of their parts in the United States, and would even provide funding for conservation efforts in Africa.

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