The Sunday News
Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
A SOUTH African professional hunter died on Friday evening after being trampled by a herd of elephants during a hunting expedition at a farm in Gwayi, Matabeleland North Province.
Mr Thiunus Botha, whose age could not be immediately established, was on a hunt with a client when he met his fate at Good Luck Farm near Hwange National Park. He was working as a hunting agent for Kuronda Safaris owned by Zimbabwean hunter Mr Tim Shultz. Zimparks acting spokesperson Mr Simukai Nyasha confirmed the incident yesterday.
“The deceased and his hunting party unknowingly got in the middle of a breeding herd of elephants with several calves. The unfortunate incident happened on 19 May at about 5.30pm,” said Mr Nyasha.
He said the body was taken to Hwange Colliery Hospital mortuary and his next of kin have since been informed. Mr Nyasha said the hunt during which Mr Both was killed was registered, running from 16 May to 27 May this year. Mr Botha’s wife Mrs Carike Botha announced her husband’s death on the couple’s joint Facebook page on Friday night where condolences poured from family friends and fellow hunters. Several hunting websites were flowing with condolence messages for Mr Botha, with some hunters describing the deceased as an excellent “professional hunter and world-class houndsman”.
Mr Botha’s death is one of the many episodes of people being killed by animals in Hwange and surrounding areas.
Last year a local tourist, Mr Stephen Coetzee was trampled to death by a suspected female elephant in Hwange National Park.
Mr Coetzee, from Bulawayo who was in company of his brother, Christian and a female friend was killed as he tried to take pictures of the jumbos.
In 2015 a 40-year-old professional guide, Mr Quinn Swales, was attacked and killed by lions in Hwange National Park.
Villagers in Hwange nearby areas, have often complained of losing livestock and crops to wild animals that abundant in the area that is largely a game park.