A big-game hunter from Idaho has been fiercely criticised for flaunting online images of herself posing with the carcasses of a giraffe and other wildlife she killed during a recent guided hunt in South Africa.
Sabrina Corgatelli, an accountant for Idaho State University, appeared on NBC's Today show on Monday to defend trophy hunting amid mounting international outrage over last month's killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion, by an American dentist.
“Everybody thinks we’re cold-hearted killers and it’s not that,” Ms Corgatelli said in the nationally televised interview. “There is a connection to the animal, and just because we hunt them doesn’t mean we don’t have a respect for them. Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously, very quickly.”
Evolutionary biologist and writer Richard Dawkins mocked Ms Corgatelli's claim that the killing was "ethical". "Dear Giraffe, I have so much respect and love for you that I had to kill you. Sabrina Corgatelli. Makes sense," Dawkins tweeted.
Ms Corgatelli first drew attention from a series of photos circulated via her Facebook account that showed her standing proudly with various animals she killed in South Africa, including an impala, a warthog and a wildebeest.
“Day #2 I got an amazing old Giraffe. Such an amazing animal!!! I couldn’t be happier,” Ms Corgatelli gushed in a caption to one image showing the slumped carcass draped around her.
Her photos and upbeat commentary were juxtaposed with a torrent of hostile remarks posted by viewers who “liked” her Facebook entries in order to weigh in with denunciations such as: “Shame on you for slaughtering innocent animals.”
Idaho State issued a statement distancing itself from the controversy, saying it was not a university matter. Reuters