A well-known South African game hunter died after an elephant ravaged by gunshots collapsed on him at a Zimbabwe animal reserve on Friday, according to local authorities.

While on a 10-day hunting expedition with several clients, 51-year-old big game hunter Theunis Botha "unknowingly" came across a herd of breeding elephants near the Hwange National Park, park spokesman Simukai Nyasha told the Associated Press.

Botha’s group spooked the herd and three elephant cows immediately charged at them — prompting Botha to open fire on the animals, according to South Africa’s News24.

A fourth cow stormed at the group from the side, lifting Botha up with its trunk. One of the members of the group fired shots at the elephant causing the animal to collapse on Botha, crushing him to death.

Zimbabwe Parks did not immediately return requests for comment by NBC News.

Botha and his wife, Carike, ran Theunis Botha Big Safari’s since 1983 with private hunting ranches in South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, according to the company’s website.

Botha touted his perfection of “traditional European Style Driven Monteria hunts in South Africa,” which uses “hounds” to round up big game for hunter clients.

His first client was a Montana man who came to South Africa to hunt a leopard, and Botha prided himself that the man “got his cat," according to the company's website.

The company did not return requests for comment by NBC News.

Botha's wife is expected to go Zimbabwe on Monday to identify her husband’s body and return him to South Africa for funeral services, according to the News24. He is survived by five children.

Botha's death garnered a large share of negative comments on social media from many who are opposed to big game hunting.

Responses to "Well-Known South African game hunter dies after elephant falls on him"

  1. His death was a result of his own actions but at least he won't be killing any more.

  2. Meh, good riddance.

  3. His death was poetic justice! Its a damn shame more animal's were taken down with him but atleast he can't hurt anymore ever again. The planet is better off without a self made death dealer!!!

  4. totally works for me, it's called Karma.

  5. Unknown says:

    That guy received what he deserved just like Ian Gibson, the ivory supplier to the Americans. But then, why he was 'well known'? He was a notorious coward. One beautiful creature has to lose her life to get rid of this scum. That was the sad part.

  6. There was a time when I didn't understand too, and no, I do NOT hunt but know some who do, and as with hunting ANYWHERE,it's to regulate the herds. Poachers are a problem because they don't pay anything to take an animal, but the money from hunter's actually goes to protecting and controlling the herds and their habitat, including paying to keep poachers out. Many times the reasons for animals going extinct has nothing to do with hunting but due to disease and starvation and lack of water to drink... Years ago we saw all those photos of elephants bloody and dead with their tusks cut off but this was due to the poachers and the Black market, not hunters... At least this man died doing something he wanted to do and not in a stupid car accident or something... I hope it was as fast as his killings were and that he didn't

  7. cathy t says:


  8. Alison says:

    Wish this happened to ALL hunters!

  9. Diana says:

    Serves the bastard right - and the money from big game hunting does NOT go to conservation, it goes into the pockets of the likes of this murderous scum and his political mates. Don't try to tell me otherwise, because I LIVED in Africa for a number of years and am well aware of what happens.Trophy hunters are the most dangerous predators of wildlife and it's thanks mainly to them that there will be little left in years to come.

  10. Nanou5812 says:

    When did this happen please ?

  11. sorry for his loss

  12. Unknown says:

    As usual there are Those who condemn anything and everybody they don't like. I'd like to condemn them For the hateful condemnation for others to hunt But I won't as I do believe we need to learn tolerance to other's beliefs and actions they would not accept being berated for their beliefs and deeds.

  13. BarbaraMc says:

    Don't agree that hunting is to control numbers and herds, most are already depleted to Threatened status and at risk of extinction. Those who hunt for the experience and trophies are not men, pity it only took the one.
    Sad for their children, hope they don't follow his vicious trade.

  14. People who kill magnificent animals for pleasure deserve what they get. It should be a criminal act to kill these creatures, especially those are on the list of extinction.

  15. Unknown says:

    Be not deceived,
    God is not mocked.
    For whatsoever you sew,
    that shall you also reap.

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