Hunter Crushed to Death by Collapsing Elephant

South African Theunis Botha killed after encountering breeding herd
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2017 1:16 AM CDT
Updated May 22, 2017 5:33 AM CDT
Hunter Crushed to Death by Elephant
The herd of elephants was near a national park in Zimbabwe.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

Theunis Botha has shot his last elephant. The South African big-game hunter was killed in Zimbabwe on Friday when the hunting party he was leading stumbled onto a herd of elephants that included calves and pregnant females, the Telegraph reports. Sources tell Netwerk24 that three female elephants charged the group and Botha shot at them, but he was taken by surprise by a fourth elephant that charged from the side and picked him up with her trunk. Another member of the party shot the elephant, and Botha was crushed to death when the fatally wounded animal collapsed on him.

The group was on a game reserve near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. Botha, a 51-year-old father of five, specialized in using hounds to hunt leopards and regularly recruited wealthy trophy hunters from America for hunting safaris in Africa. Fellow hunters mourned him on Facebook as a "world-class houndsman," while opponents of big-game hunting also made their voices heard, the Independent notes. Botha's close friend and fellow hunter Scott Van Zyl was killed by crocodiles while hunting in Zimbabwe last month. (More safari stories.)

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