It's not every day that people celebrate a man being shot in the face — even on the Internet.
On, Saturday, however, British comedian and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais could not resist weighing in on the recent story of a Texas man who accidentally put a bullet through his jaw last week when the bullet he fired at an armadillo ricocheted off the animal's scales and back into his face.
Pronouncing the incident "karmadillo," the latest Twitter hashtag was born.
The Gervais tweets attracted thousands of retweets over the last 48 hours, with armchair warriors of the Twitterverse joining in on the mockery.
For Gervais, the smackdown was only the latest in his long history of animal rights activism online. With his bludgeon of 9.55 million Twitter followers, the comedian has trained his fire on bullfighting, dog eating, fox hunting and – a perennial favorite — smiling people who take photos next to carcasses of African wildlife. When American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil the Lion, a beloved attraction from Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, Gervais focused on what was lost.
As many have pointed out, Palmer was not the first American to engage in African trophy hunting. Legal, though highly controversial, arrangements between governments, conservationists and hunters often allow wealthy foreigners to shoot a limited number of animals so that proceeds can go toward the larger good of the species. Palmer is estimated to have paid upwards of $50,000 to kill Cecil. While many of these hunters, and the websites that support them, often wear the mantle of conservationism, Gervais gives no quarter. In April, the comedian had tough words for "trophy hunters" around the world, writing on Facebook:
"I'm sick of Trophy Hunters trying to excuse their grim sport by saying they provide a service. They exploit the needs of the poor. They pay lots of money to go and shoot a magnificent animal because the authorities need the cash, and then claim they are doing a good deed. It's not a good deed."