Thanks to British comedian Ricky Gervais, a great many people have seen the picture of extreme hunter Rebecca Francis lying next to a dead giraffe and smiling. His tweet ignited an Internet outage -- the modern-day witch hunt -- with hundreds of death threats from anti-hunters being angrily typed on computers around the world.

Now, five years after the shooting took place, Francis issued a statement that posted to its Facebook page. She explained the bull was about to die and by killing him she helped preserve his body and provide food for locals. called her a “conservationist” and said they “stood by her 100 percent.”

Check out her response in its entirety below:

"When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mind-set that I would never shoot a giraffe. I was approached toward the end of my hunt with a unique circumstance. They showed me this beautiful old bull giraffe that was wandering all alone. He had been kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull. He was past his breeding years and very close to death. They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival. He was inevitably going to die soon and he could either be wasted or utilized by the local people. I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second. Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat. They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him. I am grateful to be a part of something so good.”

Gervais posted the tweet that sparked the outrage Monday. “What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?” he captioned the image of the Utah hunter. More than 25,000 of his 7.52 million followers shared the image. He has not issued a response to the death threats Francis received.

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