A hunter from the US who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated.

Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America.

Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted a television show called Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey.

The mother-of-eight described her passion for hunting on her website, writing: "We hunt elk and deer every year without fail, even through pregnancy, and nursing babies. Our hunting trips are self-guided.

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"I prefer bowhunting, and the animals I have taken with a bow include: a 10 ft (3.2m) brown bear, black bear, shiras moose, Alaskan moose, dall sheep, stone sheep, desert bighorn ram, rocky mountain bighorn ram, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, mountain goat, antelope, arapawa ram, kudu, zebra, black wildebeest, giraffe, springbuck, blesbuck, lynx, badger, and squirrel. I have also taken many of the same species and more with a rifle."

Rebecca Francis lying next to a giraffe she had shot.
Rebecca Francis lying next to a giraffe she had shot.

A photo of Francis lying next to the corpse of a giraffe posted by the comedian Ricky Gervais on Tuesday was retweeted more than 14,000 times. His tweet was quickly followed by users sharing their disgust.

Others began posting death threats in comments on her Facebook. One wrote: "You are a complete waste of skin, I hope your gun's faulty and you end up shooting yourself!" Another furious reader added: "The world would be a better place without you."

In January last year, a hunter who paid US$350,000 ($455,200) at an auction for a licence to hunt an endangered black rhino in Nambia faced a similar backlash when he was named publicly.

Corey Knowlton defended his purchase and insisted he cared "deeply" about all inhabitants on the planet.

- Independent