CNN story of a big game hunter being killed by an elephant was posted on Facebook and many of the netizens on social media showed little sympathy or concern for the hunter, Theunis Botha. CNN reported that Botha was crushed to death after an elephant, which his friends had fatally shot, collapsed on top of him.
Details were scarce in the CNN version of the story. One could easily get the impression from the report that Botha and his companions were hunting elephant when the a tragedy occurred. I read several comments on Facebook where folks were showing sympathy for the elephant, but none for Botha. Many felt it was his "instant Karma".
Not being satisfied with the CNN report, I went further into the story. A South African news site, news24.com did a more thorough job explaining what actually happened.
While news24.com does not mention the type of animals the group was hunting, the story does explain that Botha was a specialist in leopard hunting. I wouldn't hunt leopards, but I suppose there are valid reasons why the government in Zimbabwe (where the incident happened) permits it. Botha and his group happened upon a herd of elephants when 3 cows began charging the group where upon Botha shot at them. A fourth cow stormed them from the side and one of the hunters shot her after she’d lifted Botha with her trunk. The shot was fatal and as the cow collapsed, she fell on Botha.
Clearly, the killing of the elephant was in self defense. The group did not come upon the elephants with the intention of shooting any of them.
It is a tragedy that an elephant was killed, but the folks leaving nasty comments on Facebook are out of line. We should be praying for Botha and his wife and their five children.
Some people on Facebook make me sick.