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Elephant falls on hunt tour leader at Good Luck farm

May 24, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

While shooting wild animals on a tour with clients at Good Luck farm near Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, a noted South African big game hunter and tour operator has been crushed by a falling elephant.

A Zimparks spokesman told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that Theunis Botha, 51, had been leading a hunt with clients on Friday afternoon when the group blundered into the middle of a breeding herd of elephants.

When three female elephants charged the hunters, Botha fired a shot from his rifle. A fourth female appeared and lifted Botha with its trunk. A second shot rang out as another hunter fired and killed the elephant – which then collapsed on top of Botha, killing him instantly.

The paper said Botha, a father of five, was a highly regarded houndsman and frequently led leopard and lion hunting safaris with his pack of dogs.

Hunting photo from Game Hounds Safaris website

The website of Botha’s company Game Hounds Safaris says: “Theunis Botha perfected leopard and lion hunting safaris with hounds in Africa. He pioneered traditional European style driven Monteria hunts in South Africa.  A passionate and professional hunting outfitter operation focussed on giving his clients a unique exiting [sic] African safari experience.”

Monteira hunts involve large packs of dogs. The dogs drive deer and boar towards hunters, who then gun the game animals down.

Botha, who specialised in hunting leopards with his big game hounds, often travelled to the US to find wealthy clients, the paper reported.

It added that Botha was close friends with Scott van Zyl, 44, who perished last month – devoured by crocodiles while hunting with a pack of dogs in Zimbabwe. Van Zyl disappeared mysteriously and just his backpack and dogs remained. His remains were later found in the stomachs of two crocodiles shot in the Limpopo River.

Hwange National Park, the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe, was given its  name in the 1980s. It was previously known as the Wankie Game Reserve.

Written by Peter Needham

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