A South African big game hunter has been killed after an elephant that was charging at him was shot and crushed him as she fell to the ground.
The animal had reportedly lifted Theunis Botha with her trunk when she toppled to her death on Friday afternoon, the Telegraph reports.
The incident occurred when the 51-year-old unwittingly led a team of clients into a breeding herd of elephants at the Good Luck Farm near Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
As three females charged at the hunters, Botha discharged a shot from his rifle, but was lifted by a fourth cow who stormed the group from the side. The shot fired at her by another hunter was fatal, causing her to collapse on top of the father-of-five.
News24 writes Botha was a well-known hunter in South Africa and often travelled to the US to recruit wealthy clients for trophy hunting. It adds Botha’s wife Carike is expected to travel to Zimbabwe to identity his body and bring his remains back to South Africa for burial.
Botha’s website states he began offering hunting safaris in 1989, later developing an expertise in hunting with Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs. There are many videos and photographs of him with his clients, posing with kills including elephants, buffalo and leopards.
Online reaction to Botha’s death has seen many commentators remark on the alleged “karma” of him being killed by the very animal he was hunting.
Some have left condolences, with Traditional Mozambique Safaris writing: “We as hunters are the true protectors of wildlife. Unfortunately when a hunter dies in a hunting accident, the yellow-bellied anti-hunting lobby love to jump on the bandwagon with low blow insults on the internet.
“Theunis was a great man that had a true passion for conservation and was a loving family man. He cared deeply about his hounds. As fellow hunters we need to give all the support we can to his family.”