Monday 21 August 2017

Elephant crushes S. African hunter to death: reports

Elephant crushes S. African hunter to death: reports
(AFP 05/23/17)

A South African big-game hunter was crushed to death when an elephant picked him up and then fell on him after being shot, Zimbabwean officials and media reports said Monday.

Theunis Botha, 51, a professional hunter who specialised in hunting with hounds, died on Friday in western Zimbabwe.

He was leading a group of hunters on state-owned land in the Gwayi region when they disturbed a breeding herd and were charged by four female elephants.

One elephant lifted Botha up with her trunk, and a fellow hunter shot the animal dead, the News24 website said.

As the elephant collapsed, it crushed Botha, giving him fatal injuries.

His body was taken to Hwange mortuary.

Simukai Nyasha, spokesman for Zimbabwe's parks and wildlife management authority, confirmed the death to AFP.

"The unfortunate incident happened when the hunting party got in the middle of a breeding herd of elephants and were attacked by female elephants," he said, adding that the hunt was authorised.

A spokeswoman for Botha's company "Big Game Safaris", based in Limpopo, South Africa, declined to comment to AFP, but said a statement would be issued later this week.

Botha led regular "trophy hunts" for clients, often from America, who pay thousands of dollars to shoot leopards, giraffes, elephants and other animals.

A father of five, Botha's family-run company was set up in 1983 and operates in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia.

Another South African was killed by a crocodile last month while hunting in southern Zimbabwe.

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