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10 Stories of Poachers & Hunters Who Were Killed by Animals

Any poacher or hunter hopes to return with their prized trophy after embarking on a hunting expedition. The prized trophies some of which are usually big, wild and sometimes dangerous animals like lions, tigers, elephants, snakes, crocodiles can be deadly. There have been several success stories of hunters coming back with their trophies. Some of these hunters even go the extra mile to post online photographs of themselves posing with their kills after a successful hunting operation and as a result, attract all sorts of reactions (mostly negative). However, some hunters or poachers have not been lucky. Some have suffered injuries during the exercise, and some did not live to tell the story. In this list, we will share ten stories of hunters or poachers that were killed by the animals they were trying to hunt or other animals which felt threatened during the operation.

Trampled to Death by Elephant in Zimbabwe

Rangers found the blood-soaked body of Solomon Manjoro at the protected Charara safari area inside Zimbabwe’s national park. Solomon Manjoro with his partner Noluck Tafuruka entered the park on the last week of April 2013 for an illegal hunting trip. As they came into the game reserve, Solomon and his partner encountered an elephant. Solomon and Noluck attempted to gun down the elephant. However, instead of the elephant falling, the animal charged at Solomon and trampled him to death. Noluck was later arrested in the park.[1]

Theunis Botha Crushed to Death by a Wounded Elephant

On the 19th of May 2017, Theunis Botha was leading a group to hunt in a farm near the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The name of the farm near the National Park is Good Luck Farm. On their way, they suddenly encountered a herd of elephants. It was also apparent that these herd of elephants was immediately frightened by the sight of these hunters because three of the elephants suddenly charged directly at the hunters. However, another elephant, the fourth one took the hunters by surprise and charged them from the side. The victim of this elephant was Theunis Botha. This elephant picked Botha by the trunk and probably was about to fling him to the ground. However, as the elephant picked up Botha, it was shot down by one of the hunters. As a result of the shot, the elephant fell dead but landed on top of Botha. Botha was killed as a result of the elephant collapsing on top of his body.[2]

Remains of Scott Van Zyl Found in Crocodiles in the Belly of Crocodiles

One day in the third week of April 2017, Scott Van Zyl went on a hunting expedition near the banks of the Limpopo River situated on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. He was not alone. He went with a local tracker and a pack of dogs to look for crocodiles. Along the way, Scott and the dogs were going in separate directions in search of crocodiles. However, his camp mates became worried when the dogs returned to the camp without him, and they raised the alarm.

A search party came together to look for the South African hunter. Scot’s footprints were traced back to the river bank where his rucksack was found. Upon discovering that his .” stopped at the river bank, permission was obtained to kill three crocodiles. His remains were found in two of the three crocodiles. One of the theories given was that maybe as Scott Van Zyl approached the river bank, one of the crocodiles sprang up to pounce on him and drag him under the water to drown him. After this, the other two crocodiles began to tear at his body to consume it.[3]

Grizzly Bear Mauling a Nevada Man to Death in Montana

On a Friday morning in 2011, two friends who were part of a four-person hunting team paired up to seek black bears on the Purcell Mountains which is located on the border between three cities in the United States which are Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. However, one of them mistakenly shot a young male grizzly bear. The name of the person who mistook the grizzly bear for the black bear is Bell. His partner who would eventually become the victim was Steve Stevenson. Now Bell and Stevenson followed the bear after it was shot. However, suddenly the grizzly turned on Stevenson and mauled him to death before it was shot multiple times by Bell. Bell then contacted the authorities concerned by phone. Unfortunately, it was too late for Stevenson who was already dead.[4]

Lion Poacher Mauled to Death by Pride of Lions

This incidence occurred on Saturday 10th February 2018 at a private reserve in Hoedspruit named Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve. This reserve is close to the Kruger National Park. A scream was heard by this unnamed poacher who at that time was already surrounded by a pride of lions. However, his cry could do very little to help him. By the time gunshots were fired to scatter the lions they had eaten him up leaving very little left of his remains. They ate nearly all of his body. The few parts left of his remains were his head and some little bits. However, two .456 big game rifles and ammunition were found at the scene where the pride of lions ate the poacher. These ammunitions were used as evidence to prove that this man was a poacher and he intended to carry out the illegal hunting of either any of the lions or another wild animal.[5]

An Argentine Hunter Trampled to Death by an Elephant in Namibia

It happened on a Saturday, an Argentine who also was an oil company executive was in the company of other hunters whose purpose that afternoon was to hunt elephants in the Northwestern part of Kalkfield in Namibia. The Argentine’s name was Jose Monzalvez an oil company executive with a hunting permit. Little did he know that this Saturday 10th August 2017 would be his last weekend and also the last day of his life. Monzalvez was in the company of another Argentine and three Namibian hunters. They were tracking a herd of elephants and were trying to aim and shoot when one of the elephants charged at Monzalvez and trampled him to death. One can only imagine how his relatives would have received the shocking news that he has just been killed by an elephant during the hunting expedition.[6]

Vladimir Markov Killed by a Tiger: A Story of Revenge

It was truly a story of vengeance — a case in which the hunter provoked the animal for ridiculous reasons. It occurred in the winter of 1997 when a poacher named Vladimir Markov shot and wounded a tiger. The funny part of the story was that Markov was not interested in the Tiger. He was just after part of the Tiger’s kill. As stated earlier, Markov shot and wounded the Tiger. However, after shooting the Tiger, Markov stole part of the Tiger’s hunt and went somewhere else.

Unknown to Markov, the Tiger traced him to his cabin and systematically destroyed everything that had Markov’s scent on it. The tiger did not stop there. It waited for Markov by the front door of his cabin. It is on record that the tiger waited for a period of between 12 to 48 hours. When Markov finally arrived, the tiger pounced on him and killed him. After killing Markov, the tiger dragged him into the bush and ate him up. The action of the tiger looked so deliberate and calculated that witnessed concluded that this was an act of vengeance.[7]

Another Poacher Devoured by Lions at Kruger National Park

It happened on a night in the Kruger National Park; three poachers entered the game reserve to see whether some animals have been ensnared by illegal traps they had set in the reserve. a group of angry hippos ambushed and attacked them on their way. As a result, the three fled in different directions. However, one of them did not escape. The other two were able to make it out of the park. The third person was not lucky at all. The lions ate him. However, it’s unclear if the hippos killed the poacher before the lions ate him. However, from what was left of his remains, he was a meal for the lions that night. Only his skull and a few scraps of his clothes remained of this unfortunate poacher.[8]

Group of Rhino Poachers Eaten by Hungry Lions in a South African Game Reserve

This story might be seen by some as a situation where mother nature decided to give the poachers involved the due rewards they deserved. You will be sure that most people will not pity the victims involved in this incidence. This is because the victims involved were rhino poachers. I can see you saying in your mind “serves them right, they met with their nemesis.” So let’s start the story. Very early on a Monday morning, an anti-poaching dog started barking. Moments after, the handler of the dog heard a loud commotion coming from lions not far from their location in the jungle. Upon closer examination, they made some discoveries. They saw that the lions were feeding on human flesh. A human skull, one bit of pelvis, three sets of gloves and shoes were found not far from where the lions were eating their meat.

More items found at the scene were a high-powered rifle, a silencer, an ax and a wire cutter (tools used by poachers to kill rhinos and remove their horns). Also seen at that location were supplies brought by the poachers which would have sustained them for several days. So upon further investigation, it was concluded that rhino poachers entered the reserve some moments after sunset with the intention of hunting for rhinos. However, instead of meeting with rhinos, they fell into the pride of hungry lions which attacked them and ate them up. They were devoured by the lions that only a few parts of their remains were recovered from the site.[9]

The Killing of Claude  Kleynhans by a Buffalo on the Banks of the Levubu River in Limpopo South Africa, 2018

The hunting operation carried out by Claude Kleynhans, and his team would have been recorded as a complete success if not for the incident that led to his death. Claude Kleynhans and his party after receiving permission from the relevant authorities had gone hunting down a buffalo at the bank of River Levubu located in the northern part of Limpopo in South Africa. They had already shot and killed a buffalo. Unknown to Claude Kleynhans and his team, a buffalo was lurking nearby. As they were attempting to load the carcass of the slain buffalo into their vehicle, the lurking buffalo charged at Claude when he was facing the opposite direction.

The Buffalo pronged Claude in his groin with its horn. Claude Kleynhans died almost instantly. He died at the age of 54. The painful thing about the death of Claude was that he was a very popular professional hunter known for his good hunting ethics and great knowledge of wildlife conservation. Before you make that comment in your mind that he got what he deserved, you must understand that he was probably authorized to embark on this hunting expedition.[10]

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