A hunting expedition went seriously wrong in Zimbabwe on Friday when South African big game hunter Theunis Botha was crushed to death by a charging elephant, after it was shot by a fellow hunter.
Botha, better known for his prowess as a leopard and lion hunter, led hunting excursions with his company Game and Hounds Safaris. The 51-year-old father of five paid the ultimate price by choosing to lead a safari to hunt wild elephants, when he mistakenly steered his party into a herd of breeding pachyderms.
One elephant charged the hunters and surprised Botha by picking him up with his trunk, reported the Daily Wire. A fellow hunter shot the several-ton creature to save Botha, but it crashed to the ground and crushed Botha to death.
Many who knew Botha described him as a “passionate and professional hunting pioneer,” and paid tribute to him on his company’s website:
“RIP Theunis Botha. Our heartfelt condolences to Carike and family. He was a great man! So sad!”
“A legend has fallen but will never be forgotten… It’s with a sad heart that we say goodbye to you Oom Theunis Botha.”
“Our deepest condolences to the family. May God be with you all in this difficult time.”
Botha’s daughter posted pictures of her father, including one of them together after shooting a gazelle a few years back.
The hunter had his detractors as well. Commenters posting on his 2012 YouTube safari video (below), demonstrated their glee that Botha was killed. ”Karma took care of you!,” “Hey a**hole. I hope you rot in hell,” and “I am super glad he got what was coming to him,” commenters wrote.