Tess Talley claims she considers trophy hunting to be a form of conservation and that she is proud of what she does. She even went as far as to call it a hobby that she loves to do.
With many animals facing the threat of extinction, trophy hunting is a practice that often draws widespread outrage. Tess Talley has experienced this backlash first hand after a photo she posted online went viral and made her the target of social media outrage.
The photo that had sparked the online criticism was one of her posing in front of a giraffe she killed in South Africa. The wide smile on Talley's face and the way the animal had been kept for the picture angered netizens across the globe who called her a murderer. Now, during an appearance on CBS This Morning, the hunter spoke her mind about the kill and the after effects.
Talley's appearance on the show did nothing to change her notoriety, and rather, has only made things worse for her. Speaking about trophy hunting, she claimed it was a "hobby" for her and that it is something that she loves to do.
Furthermore, Talley also revealed that for her, trophy hunting is a form of conservation. "I see it as a hobby, I see it as something that I love to do. It’s conservation, and this hunt in particular is a conservation hunt," she said. When asked to explain what she means by that, she gave a very vague answer.
"We are preserving the wildlife. So what we do is, we are managing herds. We are managing numbers of wildlife. We’re hunters, and we’re proud to be hunters. I am proud to hunt and I am proud of that giraffe," said Talley.
Despite the widespread criticism she faced online last year, she has not given up on her trophy hunting ways as the This Morning episode also features footage of her posing in the same manner yet again in front of a wildebeest she hunted. The footage was captured by CBSN Originals, a documentary series which follows American trophy hunters to better understand whether hunting can really be considered a means of conservation.
One of the things that disturbed those against hunting the most is Talley's prideful smile in the picture with the giraffe. The program hosts pointed this out to her stating that it appeared as though she takes pride and pleasure in hunting.
In response, she 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." Surprisingly, she also claimed that she feels a sense of "remorse" after the killing.
#TessTalley can say conservation but her grin, pride and bragging says I like killing wild animals and uses "conservation" as justification. She's disgusting, clearly a privileged, wealthy, selfish human.— Continuum (@AdriftSWVA) June 7, 2019
"Everybody thinks that the easiest part is pulling the trigger, and it’s not. That’s the hardest part. But you gain so much respect, and so much appreciation for the animal because you know what the animal is going through. They are put here for us. You know, we harvest them, we eat them," Talley explained.
The hosts also asked her why she doesn't just put the money that she spends on a big hunt into conservation if that's her primary motivation behind doing this. "I would rather do something I love to do rather than just give a lump sum of cash somewhere and not know particularly where that is going," said Talley in response.