Comedian condemns celeb hunter Rebecca Francis for killing giraffe

An internet fall out between comedian Ricky Gervais and celebrity hunter Rebecca Francis is quickly turning into a long-running feud.

Last Monday, Gervais posted a picture of Francis lying next to a giraffe she had killed with a bow and arrow, with the comment: "What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal and lie next to it smiling?"

Gervais has a huge following on Facebook and Twitter, and many of his fans were quick to share their outrage. Some went so far as to call for Francis to be hunted and shot. It was already getting messy.

Francis defended herself by giving an exclusive statement to HuntingLife.com, claiming that under normal circumstances she would never hunt a giraffe, but on this occasion was asked to do so after the animal had been kicked out of his herd by a younger bull giraffe.

"They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival," said Francis. "He was inevitably going to die soon and 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."

Gervais was not convinced.

The continued criticism prompted Francis to give another statement to HuntingLife, in which she argued that Gervais had specifically targeted her because she is a woman: "Ricky Gervais has used his power and influence to specifically target women in the hunting industry and has sparked thousands of people to call for my death, the death of my family and many other women who hunt."

Other female hunters, including Kendall Jones, Eva Shockey, and Anna Voisek have suffered abuse on social media, while the same backlash rarely occurs during similar incidences involving male hunters.

Since the statement, Gervais has insisted that his motivations in calling out Francis have nothing to do with gender.

The debate is bound to continue for a long time yet.