The human being is built to hunt as in the past that was his only way for survival, very similar to the animal world. However, we have evolved and the need for food hunting is gone, but still the thrill remains in our blood for hunting.
Many people want to experience the rush while hunting and there are still clubs who offer that. Africa as a continent is the most desired place for game hunting where are the Big Five, a term coined by big-game hunters, referring to the big animals: elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, rhinoceros, and leopard.
The most famous big game hunter was Theunis Botha, 51, who lost his life in a hunting trip on a game reserve in Zimbabwe, South Africa, killed by an elephant collapsing on him. Botha was a well-known game hunter who led these hunting trips, and started this profession as a college student in 1989 through the South African grasslands. The money he earned from these hunting trips he used to pay for his college education.
Although he graduated with a degree in psychology and anthropology, the thrill for hunting was higher and as a result of that the big game hunting became a full-time job. He and his wife, Carike, built a hunting farm, and later on established private hunting ranches in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa.
For 28 years Botha ran the hunting tours that were advertised on his website thus making his business profitable. He had many clients from the whole world who were attracted to visit his ranches. The advertisement on his website said “passionate and professional hunting outfitter operation focused on giving his clients a unique exciting African safari experience.”
Clients were mostly attracted by his specialty of the European-style hunt called the “Monteria hunt”, which uses a pack of hounds to drive wild animals like deer and boar towards the hunters making the hunt easier. In this way the customer will for sure shoot some prey. This method he also used to hunt big game like lions and leopards, and thus pioneered the traditional European Style Driven Monteria hunts in South Africa.
He was a great success and his hounds were looked for all over the world, therefore he started breeding hounds. Theunis Botha Big Game Hound Kennels breed hunting dogs and hounds that have been selected from the world’s leading breeders and bloodlines. Their big game hounds are known for their cold trailing ability and tenacity. These kennels are well renowned for their working style that is deeply seated in the tradition of French hunting and historically correct working style.
Botha died while leading a hunting tour at Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe. They encountered a group of breeding elephants who immediately sensed the danger, and three of the elephants ran towards the hunters. Botha managed to shoot all three of them, but did not expect a fourth one coming to him from the side. The elephant lifted him up with the trunk, then another hunter shot it, and the elephant collapsed on top of Botha. Botha could have not survived the crush knowing the fact how heavy elephants can be. His wife transported his remains to South Africa where he was buried.
The world found out about the death of Botha via social media when his friend Steve Scott, announced his death on Twitter, and Botha’s daughter confirmed it to BBC.
It was inevitable for the Facebook post to cause mixed emotions among people due to Botha’s work. His fellow hunters referred to him as the “world-class houndsman”, and expressed deepest condolences, and on the other hand there were harsh comments on the Botha’s profession as a hunter.
The Big Five is the ultimate hunt for the big game hunters as these five animals are the most difficult ones to hunt on foot in Africa. As per the author of “Big Game and Big Game Rifles”,John Taylor, an ivory hunter in his own right, the “big game hunting on the African continent” is extremely dangerous. While hunting a big game you never know which side will be the winner and that rush of adrenalin is the trigger point for many hunters who go to safari in Africa.