Animal Rights
Animal Rights

Big Game Hunter Crushed By Elephant He Shot To Death (Photo)

| by David Bonner

A South African safari leader and big game hunter was crushed to death by an elephant on May 19.

Theunis Botha, 51, was hunting with a group in Zimbabwe when they came across a herd of elephants, reports the Daily Mail.

When they shot at the herd, the elephants charged at them. One of the elephants reportedly picked up Botha with its trunk, and when one of the hunters shot the animal, it fell on Botha, killing him.

His company, Theunis Botha Big Game Safaris, was launched in 1983. It is promoted as "a passionate and professional hunting outfitter operation focused on giving his clients a unique exiting African safari experience."

The website says that Botha "perfected Leopard and Lion hunting safaris with hounds in Africa," and "pioneered traditional European Style Driven Monteria hunts in South Africa." 

After serving in the South African infantry during the Angolan War, Botha entered college and began offering hunting safaris in 1989 to help pay for his tuition.

After graduation, "Theunis embraced his hearts passion and engaged in full time big game hound safaris in and around South Africa, adding private ranches in Zimbabwe and Botswana as new destinations in 1991. Concession areas in Mozambique followed in 2000, and Namibian private ranches were added as new destinations in 2007."

The following species are listed as available for hunting in those areas:

Black Wildebeest
Blue Wildebeest
Burchell's Zebra  
Cape Buffalo   
Caracal / African Wild Cat / Civet / Serval
Common Reedbuck
Grey Duiker
Mountain Reedbuck
Red Hartebeest
Vaal Rhebuck     

The company also offers safaris in the "incredibly breathtaking and pristine Rocky Mountain Wilderness" of North America, where the targets include Rocky Mountain elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, mule deer, whitetail deer, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lion, wolf, bobcat and lynx.

Botha's wife, Carike, is scheduled to travel to Zimbabwe on May 22 to identify his body and bring his remains to South Africa for burial.

On Facebook, friends and clients expressed  their condolences, reports The Washington Post.

“A legend has fallen but will never be forgotten,” one user wrote.

“It’s with a sad heart that we say goodbye to you.”

Another said: “I’m crying. RIP my brother."

Not everyone was so sympathetic. Some commenters left hateful comments, condemning his killing of animals.

Botha's friend Scott van Zyl was eaten by crocodiles in Zimbabwe in April. He disappeared on April 7, and his DNA positively identified in samples taken from the crocodiles' stomachs, reports News24.

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