Hunter getting death threats for smiling photo with dead giraffe

Death threats have been sent to a Utah hunter after images of her joyfully posing with a freshly killed giraffe went viral thanks to British funnyman Ricky Gervais.

Rebecca Francis drew the ire of social media users across the world after the photo was tweeted by Gervais on Monday.

"What must've happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?" Gervais tweeted with this photo.

The post soon gained traction and was shared more than 20,000 times, sparking a barage of vicious abuse against the mother of eight.

Francis claims the photo was taken five years ago. She defended herself in a Facebook post saying:

“I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second. Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat. They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him. I am grateful to be a part of something so good.”