UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — An American woman is facing international criticism for hunting a giraffe.

The woman, identified as Tess Thompson Talley, shot and killed the elderly bull giraffe last year in South Africa.

Giraffes are legal to hunt in the country — still, the killing of the animal, along with pictures showing Talley posing next to it, sparked outrage.

According to The Guardian, Talley first posted the pictures on her Facebook page.

An online group with the Twitter handle AfricaDigest drew attention to the story after tweeting the photos last month.

In the caption, AfricaDigest described Talley as a “white american savage who is partly a neanderthal.”

Thousands of Twitter users have since retweeted the post.

But Talley defended herself, telling CBS News the giraffe had killed younger bulls and that shooting it was “conservation through game management.”

Less than 100,000 giraffes are thought to live in Africa and their numbers are reportedly in decline.