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Elephant Hunter Crushed by Elephant Shot by Fellow Hunters
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African elephant

Summary: A big game hunter was in the midst of a hunt on elephants at an African hunting farm when the other hunters shot an elephant which then collapsed on him.

African elephants can stand up to 13 feet and weigh up to 15,400 pounds. While female elephants are known to be smaller, they are not much smaller. One big game hunter learned in a tragic way how much elephants weigh. Theunis Botha of South Africa was crushed to death by an elephant that had been fatally shot by others in the hunting party.


Botha, 51, is well known in the region as a big-game hunter. He runs the Theunis Botha Big Game Safaris with his wife Carike. They have been running the company since 1983 hunting in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa. The company website claims to have “perfected leopard and lion hunting safaris with hounds in Africa.” He also apparently started the European-style “Monteira hunts” in South Africa, which involve using packs of hounds to herd deer, boar and other animals towards the hunters.

He was leading the hunting party on a ten-day expedition when it came upon a group of breeding elephants on a Zimbabwe game reserve located near the Hwange National Park Several. The hunters startled the group of elephants which included some pregnant cows, sending them into a frenzy. The female elephants charged the hunters so Botha returned by opening fire. Unknowingly a fourth female stormed the group from the side. The female elephant allegedly lifted Botha with her truck so a member of the hunting party shot the elephant down. She collapsed and fell on top of Botha, crushing him when she died.

Botha often traveled to the United States to build his business by advertising to wealthy Americans that were interested in big game hunting in Africa. His first client was a man from Montana who traveled to South Africa to hunt a leopard. Botha was successful in helping the client catch the large cat. He describes his company as a “passionate and professional hunting outfitter operation” that is able to give clients a “unique African safari experience.”

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Botha was married with five children. Hunters have offered their condolences for the death of the “world-class houndsman.” Those opposed to big game hunting, as known as “trophy hunting,” did not hesitate to make their feelings known on social media.

The hunter is not the only one to have lost his life doing a job he loved. Forty-four-year-old Scott van Zyl was hunting crocodiles on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe when he disappeared. DNA samples were taken from two crocodiles killed during the search for his body matched his DNA. He was hunting with a local tracker and a pack of dogs. The two men split up at their vehicle and went separate ways to hunt for the crocodiles. When the dogs returned to camp without him, a search was launched. His footprints were traced to the river bank where his rucksack was found discarded. He also was married with two kids.

Do you think big game hunting should be allowed? Tell us in the comments below?

To learn more about hunting accidents, read these articles:




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