US doc linked to Zimbabwe probe into illegal lion hunts

Also angering Internet users is American accountant Sabrina Corgatelli, seen here posing with a giraffe that she killed.
Also angering Internet users is American accountant Sabrina Corgatelli, seen here posing with a giraffe that she killed.PHOTO: SABRINA CORGATELLI/ TWITTER

HARARE • Zimbabwe has linked a Pennsylvania doctor to an investigation into illegal lion hunting, a week after an American dentist was accused of illegally killing the country's most famous lion, Cecil.

The news came as a war of words raged between Internet users and an American accountant, after she posted photos of herself with several dead animals she hunted in South Africa.

Dr Jan Seski, who runs a women's health practice in Pittsburgh, was named on Sunday as a client of Nyala Safaris, a safari operator accused of breaching regulations and owned by a landowner who has been arrested on accusations of conducting an illegal hunt.

The doctor was in Zimbabwe in April, according to a statement issued by Prince Mupazviriho, permanent secretary in the ministry of environment, water and climate.

The statement spells the doctor's name as Jan Sieski but the address provided and other details indicate the doctor is Jan Seski. It did not say if he was accused of any wrongdoing.

In July, Minneapolis dentist and trophy hunter Walter Palmer killed a rare black-maned lion known as Cecil that ruled over a pride in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The slaying triggered global outrage on social media, protests and petitions calling for Dr Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe.

The Horns of Africa Safaris website pictures a man identified as Dr Seski posing with animals it says he killed with a bow and arrow, including a zebra and cape buffalo.

A website for Alaska Bowhunting Supply pictures a man identified as Dr Seski with an elephant carcass and a caption that reads: "This Zimbabwe elephant is the sixth African elephant shot by Dr Jan Seski."

Mr Stewart Dorrington, operator of Melorani Safaris in South Africa, said Dr Seski had hunted on his property and all his actions there were "perfectly legal".

Meanwhile, Ms Sabrina Corgatelli, a senior accountant and hunting enthusiast from the state of Idaho, took on critics who lashed out at her hunting in South Africa.

She has been posting photos of her kills, including a giraffe, on social media since July, and warned her "haters" that there would be more to come.

She claimed on her Facebook page that her hunting in South Africa was "completely legal".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2015, with the headline 'US doc linked to Zimbabwe probe into illegal lion hunts'. Print Edition | Subscribe