A famous South African big-game hunter has died after being crushed by an elephant that had been shot during a hunt in Zimbabwe.
We couldn’t make this stuff up! Seriously, we couldn’t.
Buzzfeed reported that, “Theunis Botha, 51, was leading an afternoon hunt at Good Luck Farm, near Hwange National Park, Friday when the group stumbled upon a herd of elephants, according to South African media reports.”
And to add to the peculiar twist of irony in this story, this is the very same park where Cecil the lion was illegally shot and killed by an American dentist trophy hunter in 2015.
Another news agency, Netwerk24, reported that the encounter spooked the animals and several elephants charged the hunters. (Go elephants!) Botha opened fire, but one of the elephants got close enough to lift him with her trunk. Another hunter then shot the elephant, causing her to collapse on Botha.
And, if I may add just one more ironic twist, Botha was close friends with Scott van Zyl, another game hunter who was also killed in Zimbabwe last month when he was eaten by crocodiles.
Coincidence? I think not. I like to think Mother Nature is saying, “f*ck you,” in her own way. If you believe in karma as I do, this is a moment of karmic leveling.
Trophy hunters enrage me, so I can’t honestly say that there isn’t a small part of me feeling a sense of satisfaction over the irony of this story. It just comes across to me as egotistical, aggressive, unnecessary, and evil. There’s just no good, verifiable reason for trophy hunting animals who are endangered species beyond an arrogant and egotistical human need to dominate all things we deem below us.
It’s the epitome of unbalanced and unchecked masculine energy, and to me it’s a summary of all things wrong with the way the world currently is.
I don’t support trophy hunting and I highly doubt there is any argument out there that would sway my opinions to being in favor of it.
As the Washington Post reported, “Over the years, Botha honed ‘Monteria hunts,’ a European-style method of using dogs to chase game toward hunters, who lie in wait to fire on the animals. The method was traditionally used on deer and boar, but Botha reportedly turned it against bigger, fiercer creatures.”
As I sit with it and try to understand the mindset behind hunting like this—not for survival but for sport—using dogs to chase the animal to where you lay in wait as an ambush doesn’t speak of bravado or manly strength, but rather weakness and cowardice. They have guns and protection and yet pride themselves on the “win” or the “score.” Yeah…because you really showed that animal who’s the boss with your guns and bullets.
Something else I believe we need to acknowledge is the hate speech that has popped up toward Botha’s wife in response to his death. Stating that you are glad someone got what he deserved and that hopefully the wife would be next doesn’t really make you any better than the person hunting animals—it’s still violent and aggressive thinking.
Meeting hate and violence with more hate and violence only breeds more of what we are seeing all over the world. If we want change, we have to be the change. If we want a peaceful and loving world, we must first be that within ourselves.
And sometimes, that shows up in the form of saying a prayer of love and compassion for the wife of someone whose actions boil our blood.
Namaste, beautiful readers.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Image: YouTube still
Editor: Travis May