South African hunter ‘eaten by crocodiles’ in Zimbabwe
DNA tests ‘prove hunter was killed by a crocodile’
A story of karma for all hunters…
A South African hunter, 44-year-old Scott van Zyl, went missing after he left for a hunting expedition and is believed to have been eaten by crocodiles in Zimbabwe. The hunter went with a Zimbabwean tracker and a pack of dogs near Chikwaraka camp and did not return to the base camp.
Scott was a professional hunter who killed exotic animals in his hunting expeditions in the past. He used to organise hunting trips for foreign clients and owned a company named SS Pro Safaris.
Scott and his tracker got separated after leaving their pickup. The pack of dogs returned without Scott after the trip and his belongings including his rifle was found in the pickup truck.
A search team equipped with helicopters, locals and divers checked the entire area and distributed pamphlets with Scott Van Zyl’s image in nearby villages and to fishermen on the banks of the river.
Later, his backpack was found near Limpopo river along with tracks leading to the bank of the river.
He may have been eaten by two Nile crocodiles, said Sakkie Louwrens, a member of one of the search teams. Forensic experts are trying to find out whether the remains obtained from the crocodiles belonged to the professional hunter or not.
Scott’s team used to hunt rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes and conducted numerous “safaris” with their foreign clients.
But, it is not the first time this has happened. There have been many incidents in the past where crocodiles in Southern Zimbabwe have brutally killed people who went near the river.
AJ Plus tweeted a photo of Scott saying, “man who hunted elephants and leopards has reportedly been eaten by crocodiles.”
DNA tests on the carcass of a crocodile shot in Zimbabwe have confirmed that it contains the remains of a missing South African hunter, an investigator has told the BBC.
Scott Van Zyl was killed last week on the banks of the Limpopo river, said Sakkie Louwrens, director of a South-African crime-fighting NGO.
He said Mr Van Zyl disappeared during a hunting safari last week.
His death is the latest in a series of fatal crocodile attacks in Zimbabwe.
Mr Louwrens told the BBC that Mr Van Zyl had gone on a hunting trip on the Zimbabwe-South Africa border with a local tracker and a pack of dogs.
Professional hunter Scott Van Zyl disappeared last week in Zimbabwe
He said the pair left their vehicle and went in different directions in search of crocodiles.
A search and rescue operation was launched after Mr Van Zyl’s dogs returned to their camp without him.
The hunter’s footprints were traced to river bank alongside his discarded rucksack. He was married, had two children and took foreign clients on hunting trips.
Mr Louwrens said staff from the Heritage Protection Group – an organisation which he heads and helps police fight crime in South Africa – informally helped the Zimbabwean authorities conduct the search.
“Permission was given for three Nile crocodiles in the area to be shot, and one of them contained Mr Van Zyl’s remains,” he said. “Subsequent DNA tests have proved the remains to be those of Mr Van Zyl.”
At least four fatal attacks by crocodiles have been reported in Zimbabwe this year.
One conservation group meanwhile has condemned the circumstances of his “senseless” death.
“[He] shouldn’t have been hunting in the first place. Animals in the wild… are wild! They are living, thinking beings with instincts for survival,” a statement by One Green Planet said.
The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s most feared predators
Predators of Africa’s rivers and lakes, they lurk almost totally submerged in the water as they lie in wait for passing prey which is then dragged into the water and drowned
Renowned for their long powerful jaws, few creatures escape from their clutches – not even large buffalo and wildebeest
Their large bodies and long tails hide quick reflexes and fast bursts of speed
They are extremely attentive and protective parents, with a surprisingly delicate touch – their nests and young hatchlings are highly vulnerable to predators
source: bbc, indiatoday