WARNING: Distressing images.
A confronting photo of a smiling woman clutching a rifle and standing over the body of a slaughtered giraffe has caused a major outcry across social media.
The pictures of Texas woman Tess Thompson Talley proudly showing off what she labelled her "dream kill", a rare black giraffe, were first posted to Facebook in June 2017 but have since resurfaced.
"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 alongside the controversial photos.
"I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4000 lbs (1800kg) and was blessed to be able to get 2000 lbs (900kg) of meat from him."
The images have circulated widely on the internet after publication Africland Post shared them on Twitter, in what appeared to be their first post in two years.
The caption read: "White American savage who is partly a Neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share."
The picture was taken in South Africa but the exact location of where the hunt took place is not known. Trophy hunting is a legal practice in a number of African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe and wealthy Westerners like Talley pay big money to hunt African animals.
The whole big game hunting sector brings in up to $US2 billion ($A2.7 billion) a year to the country's economy.
Talley has recently defended the images, claiming what she was doing was actually helping the "conservation" of the species.
"The giraffe I hunted was the South African subspecies of giraffe. The numbers of this subspecies is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting," she told Fox News.
She then backtracked on what she said in her first post about the animal being a "rare black giraffe", now saying older giraffes are usually darker and the "breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old".
She claimed the animal was too old to breed and had killed three younger bulls, so by killing him she was preventing other giraffes being harmed.
"This is called conservation through game management," Talley said.
Talley's new claim that the giraffe wasn't actually a rare breed, contrary what her first post stated, was backed up by Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the organisation Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Dr Fennessy told Yahoo Lifestyle that the coat of some male giraffes darken to black as they age and the animal pictured is of the South African species Giraffa giraffe, which are "increasing in the wild".
"Legal hunting of giraffe is not a reason for their decline, despite the moral and ethical side of it which is a different story," he said.
Whether the animal was part of a rare species or not, people have been quick to voice their outrage over the pictures.
"This makes me sick. She is a twisted individual. To kill a beautiful creature like that for what?" one woman said.
"I just don't understand why someone would kill any animal, then have their picture taken with it's dead carcass and feel good about it! All I see in this photo is a weak individual tracking down a helpless create [sic] and taking his life," another Twitter user commented.
The majority of the commenters were horrified by Talley's actions, but there were a few that came to her defence.
"What rubbish. She is a hunter. We allow and indeed encourage hunting as an important tourist activity," one person wrote.
Another added: "Hunting is a necessary tool for keeping animal populations manageable. If populations were allowed to go unchecked, they would have consequences on agriculture, threaten human populations."
"Plus it's a thrill to hunt something 20 times your size, that could easily kill you."