A 75-year old man was shot dead at a North West captive-bred lion hunting farm on Saturday, police said.
While details around the incident remain sketchy, police spokesperson Captain Charlize van der Linden, confirmed that Pero Jelinic, from Croatia, and two other Croatians, were hunting captive-bred lions at Leeubosch Lodge near Setlagole, when the incident occurred.
According to Van der Linden, the hunting party had already killed a lion, and were tracking a second cat, when Jelinic was struck by a bullet.
“He was air-lifted to Vryburg Hospital by helicopter, but doctors were unable to save the man’s life. A case of culpable homicide has been opened, and police are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition,” she said.
“At this stage it is not clear who fired the fatal shot that killed Mr Jelinic. Our investigations are ongoing.”
The owner of Leeubosch Lodge, Dr Gideon Engelbrecht, told News24 that he was not at the farm when the incident occurred.
“I was at my surgery when I received the call. I arranged for a helicopter to take the man to hospital, but that’s all I am going to give you at this stage, because the case is still under investigation,” he said.
South Africa’s legal, but highly controversial captive-bred lion hunting industry, commonly known as “canned” lion-hunting, recently came under fire from a host of reputable international and African hunting organisations.
The list includes prominent American hunting institution, Dallas Safari Club, which earlier this month issued a scathing statement denouncing captive bred lion hunts.