Theunis Botha, a South-African big game hunter has been killed in Zimbabwe after a shot elephant collapsed on him.
Botha, 51, was leading a hunt at Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe. A while into the hunt, his party were surprised a group of breeding elephants and three of them charged towards the hunters.
Botha fired shots at the elephants to scare them off but he was surprised by a fourth elephant cow that rammed into him from the side and lifted Botha with her trunk.
After another hunter shot the elephant, the wounded elephant collapsed on top of Botha, crushing him.
His Final Hunt
After his wife, Carike Botha, posted about her husband’s ill-fated death on their Facebook page, a whole flurry of activity ensued and both sides of the fence voiced their opinions. Naturally, friends, family and his fellow hunters responded with their condolences.
Unsurprisingly however, not everyone felt sympathy for Botha or his family. Arguments raged over the morality of hunting and some people left harsh comments on the Bothas’ photos because of his profession as a hunt leader.
The Business of Hunting
Botha ran his own hunting tour business for 28 years. His website states that the tours are a “passionate and professional hunting operation focussed on giving clients a unique, exciting African safari experience.”
Clients from around the world were attracted to the tours and he often visited the United States to drum up more business.
The big game hunter’s specialty was known as the “Monteria hunt”.
This style of hunting is European in origin and uses dogs to drive animals such as deer and wild boar towards the hunters, who then shoot them. Botha brought this hunting style to South Africa and used large dogs to hunt lions and leopards.
According to his website:
“Theunis Botha perfected Leopard and Lion hunting safaris with hounds in Africa. He pioneered traditional European Style Driven Monteria hunts in South Africa.”
Botha used several different breeds of hounds in his hunts and began to breed the dogs to sell due to high demand from a number of clients.
A few weeks before Botha’s death, his long term friend Scott Van Zyl was also killed by animals while out with a hunting party.
Van Zyl, 44, disappeared while on a hunting expedition in Zimbabwe with a pack of dogs and a local tracker.
A number of days after he was last seen, Van Zyl’s backpack was found on the banks of the Limpopo River. Two crocodiles were shot by authorities a week later and the contents of their stomachs matched Van Zyl’s DNA.
A gruesome way to go out or Karma working in mysterious ways? You decide.