The funnyman got serious earlier this week (beg13Apr15) after he spotted a shot of Rebecca Francis, the co-host of U.S. TV show Eye of the Hunter, lying down next to a dead giraffe, and posted it online.

He added the caption: "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' post fired up his followers and fellow animal lovers, who have since targeted Francis with death threats.

Responding to the online hatemail, Francis has released a statement, in which she attempts to explain herself, on website HuntingLife.com.

She writes, "When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mindset that I would never shoot a giraffe. I was approached toward the end of my hunt with a unique circumstance. They showed me this beautiful old bull giraffe that was wandering all alone. He had been kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull. He was past his breeding years and very close to death.

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

But Gervais was far from impressed with her statement, and when a follower later posted a shot of Francis standing over a dead lion, he quipped, "She probably killed this one to feed the poor locals too."