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Big Game Hunter Shot And Killed While Hunting Lions - Police Launch Investigation

Police in South Africa have opened up an investigation into what’s being referred to as a ‘freak accident’ that resulted in the death of a big game trophy hunter. Pero Jelinic, a 75-year-old avid hunter from Croatia, was shot and killed while out hunting for lions on a remote farm.

He had already killed one lion on the day and was on the hunt for another when he was struck by what appears to be a stray bullet. As the Daily Mail shares, police do not suspect foul play in the bizarre death.

Slavko Pernar, a close friend of the deceased, explained that his pal was merely out living it up and enjoying his life of leisure when the cruel twist of fate took him down.  

“Pero was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world. For the past year he had leased his hotel to dedicated himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoyed a deserved retirement,” he explained to a Croatian newspaper.

“He, unfortunately, received the ugliest end – he died in South Africa doing what he loved. His office, a hunting hall, was full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe.”

Dr. Gideon Engelbrecht is the owner of the Leeubosch Lodge that Jelinic was hunting on at the time of the incident. The property is located about 40 miles from the border of Botswana, and Engelbrecht notes that he wasn’t at home at the time of the unfortunate event.

“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 told a local station.

As his friend noted, Jelinic was an avid hunter that was always on the lookout for trophies. There appear to be a ton of photos of him with all kinds of animals - both living and dead - and he was engaged in a practice known as ‘canned hunting’ when he lost his life.

The practice, which revolves around hunters stalking animals in confined and fenced areas in which they have no chance of escaping, has come under intense scrutiny from Animal Rights groups through the years. In essence, hunters are playing with a stacked deck against defenseless animals, and that prompts even more outrage from those that are opposed to hunting in the first place.  

Even the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa has spoken out against it and banned all members from taking part in such experiences in the past. The group thought better of that and reversed its stance, and that prompted intense backlash from activists.

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone offered up some additional details on the incident, and he confirmed that there’s no suspicion of foul play in Jelinic’s death.  

“The injured man was air-lifted to the nearby 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,” he explained.

“At this stage it is not clear who fired the fatal shot that killed Mr Jelinic. Our investigations are ongoing.”

Source: MailOnline
Photo: MailOnline

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