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Big Game Hunter Crushed To Death After Injured Elephant Falls On Him

By Mark Pygas

Theunis Botha was a South African game hunter who started leading hunting safaris through South Africa’s grasslands in 1989. Over the decades, Botha expanded his business and set up hunting ranches in Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, and elsewhere. Hunting is a lucrative business in Africa and many proponents say it actually helps fund conservation. There are critics to this theory though but nevertheless, it's still an important financial support to people in the area.

But on Friday afternoon, Botha met his match, when a group he was leading stumbled upon a breeding herd of elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. The Washington Post reports that three elephant cows, startled by the hunters, charged the group. But as Botha opened fire, a fourth elephant rammed him from the side and lifted him with her trunk. Another member of the group opened fire, killing the elephant, and sending the animal crushing down on top of Botha, killing him  instantly. 

Botha’s body was taken to Hwange Colliery Hospital, and his wife is expected to fly to the country on Monday to formally identify the body. In addition to his wife, Botha is survived by five children. It's a sad story but a heavy reminder of how dangerous wildlife can be.