TORONTO – An American hunter has ignited online fury after she posted pictures of herself with the corpses of dead animals, including a giraffe, in South Africa.
Sabrina Corgatelli, a university accountant from Idaho, uploaded photos to Facebook from a recent hunting trip at a private conservancy near South Africa’s Kruger National Park. In the photos Corgatelli can be seen posing next to a dead giraffe, warthog, kudu and impala.
Corgatelli’s kills were apparently legal.
A July 26 photo shows her standing with a dead giraffe wrapped around her body.
“I got an amazing old Giraffe. Such a amazing (sic) animal!! I couldn’t be any happier!!” the Facebook photo caption said. “My emotion after getting him was a feeling I will never forget!!!”
More than 20,000 people have flooded her Facebook page with comments including“disgusting,” “vile” and a “disgrace.” Others made threatening comments that included profane and misogynistic language.
The backlash against Corgatelli comes in the wake of outrage after U.S. dentist Walter Palmer killed a lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean officials have accused Palmer of killing the lion illegally and have called for Palmer’s extradition. Palmer issued a statement last week expressing regret, but said he didn’t know the lion was protected.
On Sunday it was reported Pennsylvania doctor Jan Seski had illegally killed a lion in April with a bow and arrow near Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Corgatelli posted an image of actor Leonardo DiCaprio on her Facebook wall with the caption, “To all the haters. Stay tuned, you’re gonna have so much more to be pissed off about.”
Other images of the American hunter showed her with a large, dead warthog with the caption: “What a fun hunt!!! Loving it here!!” Another showed her with a wildebeest and an impala she described as “one of Africa’s icons.”
In one photo with a man identified as her boyfriend, Aaron Neilson, shows the couple with the body of a 13-foot crocodile.
Corgatelli defended herself in an interview on NBC’s Today show Monday, saying that hunters are not “cold-hearted killers.”
“To me it’s not just killing an animal, it’s the hunt,” she told host Carson Daly. “Everybody just thinks we’re cold-hearted killers, and it’s not that. There is a connection with the animal, and just because we hunt them doesn’t mean we don’t have a respect for them.”
Daly pointed out that giraffes are herbivores and not predatory animals.
“Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously very quickly,” Corgatelli said.
On Monday, Delta Airlines said it would ban the shipment of hunting trophies of lions other threatened and vulnerable animals after the recent high-profile killings in Zimbabwe.