It was a fine Friday afternoon until everything turned upside down...
On May 19, a group of hunters led by Theunis Botha stumbled upon a herd of breeding elephants at the Good Luck Farm near Hwange National Park. Suddenly, three of these elephant cows charged directly at the hunters.
Alert and prepared, Botha immediately fired at them but was caught by surprise when another elephant charged from the side. Then, in a blink of an eye, that elephant picked Botha up with her trunk. One of the hunters tried to help and shot the elephant but this just caused her to collapse on top of Botha. Unfortunately, such incident has led to the death of both the elephant and such highly regarded houndsman.
"Condolences poured from hunters, who mourned the death of a “world-class houndsman” after Mrs Botha announced her husband’s death on their joint Facebook page," the Telegraph reported.
This event, however, also highlighted how such considered docile creatures can be extremely dangerous when threatened and lights further scrutiny on the trophy hunting practice.
With an elephant’s size and height, humans are indeed no match during confrontation. However, about 33,000 of these "gentle giants" are still killed each year by poachers for their ivory. And trophy hunting such as this isn't stopping illegal poachers in any way. Even if proponents of this practice claimed that such provide monetary benefits to local communities and elephant conservation, what trickles down to the community is often small.
An alarming declination of elephants populations can in fact be noticed in African countries with a total of 30 percent all over the continent according to the Great Elephant Census's Elephant Atlas. Hence, such unfortunate incident hopefully raised awareness and may serve as a warning to each and everyone specially hunters.