The pictures first appeared on Facebook last year to a much more subdued response.
A female hunter identified by USA Today and other media outlets as Tess Thompson Talley of Kentucky stands proudly with a black giraffe she hunted, shot and killed in South Africa in June 2017.
In a Facebook post now deleted but captured in screengrabs, she wrote that the trip was a "once in a lifetime dream hunt" that came true.
“Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite awhile," she wrote. " I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2,000 lbs of meat from him."
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That could have been the end of that if Africa Digest in South Africa hadn't tweeted those photos on June 16, igniting a firestorm of criticism directed at Talley online.
"White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe (courtesy) of South Africa stupidity," Africa Digest wrote on Twitter. "Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share."
The post also kicked up debate about big-game hunting and whether it should be allowed in South Africa at all. According to Fox News, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are among the African countries where trophy hunting is legal.
"But you have to blame the African states for allowing this kind of tourism. It is simply immoral and wrong," one person wrote on the Africa Digest tweet.
The publication pointed to the second part of its original tweet about Talley: "If our so called governments can't care for our wildlife then its time we stand up and (take) responsibility of our continent, lands, resources and wildlife .... share share share! and lets have a united voice against pillage of Africa, it's the only home we have."
In an email to Fox News, Talley said the giraffe she killed "was the South African sub-species of giraffe. The numbers of this sub-species is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large part by big game hunting."
Though she referred to the giraffe as "rare" in her original Facebook post, she told Fox News that the "breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age."
In 2012, LiveScience reported on then-new research suggesting that male giraffes become completely covered in black splotches by the time they reach the average age of 9.4 years. Unlike men and gorillas whose hair turns silver and gray as they age, giraffes get darker, researchers found.
Male giraffes, who become mature bulls around the age of 10, live an average of 14 to 16 years, according to LiveScience, with some living as long as 22 years. Their main threat? Lions.
Talley told Fox that the giraffe she killed was 18-years-old and had been problematic in the herd, killing three younger bulls who, unlike it, were still young enough to breed.
“This is called conservation through game management,” she wrote.
The giraffe in the photo is, indeed, of a South African species that is not rare but is actually increasing in the wild, Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the organization Giraffe Conservation Foundation, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
"Legal hunting of giraffe is not a reason for their decline, despite the moral and ethical side of it which is a different story," Fennessy told Yahoo.
Trophy photos have a history of stirring up vitriol on social media. One of the most notable cases happened in 2015 when Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer was internationally scorned for killing the beloved Cecil the lion near a national park in Zimbabwe.
Talley is the third female hunter in the last couple of years to go viral with a dead giraffe photo. In 2016, then-12-year-old Aryanna Gourdin of Utah posted one to her “Aryanna Gourdin — Braids and Bows.”
Hunter Rebecca Francis, 41, faced the same backlash the year before when comedian Ricky Gervais reposted a photo of her lying next to a giraffe she killed.
Gervais, known for his animal activism, tweeted about Talley, too, writing: "Giraffes are now on the 'red list' of endangerment due to a 40% decline over the last 25 years. They could become extinct. Gone forever."