Sabrina Corgatelli defends her legal South African hunts

By Maria Coder
Updated August 03, 2015 01:10 PM
Credit: Splash News

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer went into hiding after he became the subject of international scorn for killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. But another American is proudly advertising the game she has shot while on African safari – and thumbing her nose at her critics.

“To me it’s not just killing an animal, it’s the hunt,” Sabrina Corgatelli, of Idaho, told the Today show on Monday.

Corgatelli has been sharing photos on her Facebook page of her recent legal hunt in South Africa. On July 31 she reposted a picture of a massive giraffe she had killed.

“There’s a lot of personal things in my life that have happened recently that have added to that. I won’t get into that or disclose those feelings,” she told Today. “Everybody just thinks we’re coldhearted 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. Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously very quickly.”

The huntress also has photos with a kudu, an impala, a wildebeest and a warthog.

Corgatelli is not apologetic about her hunts. Following a flood of furious comments, she wrote: “To all the haters, stay tuned, you’re gonna have so much more to be p—– about.”

A newer post by Corgatelli quotes Genesis 27:3: “Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.”

Online trolls posted Corgatelli’s personal information online, including details on her job and work address. While she is admittedly a bit concerned, she remains undeterred.

“Everything I’ve done here is legal, so how can you fault somebody because of their hobbies?” she told Today. “How can an employer chastise you for something you do on your personal time that’s legally done?”

Zimbabwean officials claim that Palmer and Dr. Jan Seski, a Pennsylvania gynecologist, both participated in illegal lion hunts. Their guides have since been arrested and charged. Corgatelli’s hunt in South Africa was completely legal, says Aaron Neilson, who hunted with her. But he cautioned not to rush to judgment of Palmer and Seski.

“I would say if [Dr. Palmer] is in fact charged with the crime I think it’s something to consider,” he said on Today. “I also believe that when a foreign hunter travels to a foreign country, he is at the discretion of the guide and outfitter that he puts his trust in. So to start charging foreign people under crimes like this in a place where he likely was completely unaware of most of the circumstances, I think would be a very slippery slope.”

Zimbabwean officials are working to extradite Palmer. The Minnesota dentist has not been charged with a crime. On July 30 he made contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, PEOPLE confirmed.