A 75-year-old big game hunter was hunting lions bred in captivity in South Africa when he was shot dead while aiming his own weapon at a lion. Officials in the North West province say Pero Jelenic was struck by a stray bullet as he tracked one of the lions with his sights.
A spokesperson from the Setlagole Police Department Charlize van der Linden said the 75-year-old trophy hunter from Croatia had already bagged one of the giant cats on his trip with two other hunts. He was in the process of tracking another cat when he was hit by the stray bullet.
"He was airlifted to Vryburg Hospital by helicopter, but doctors were unable to save the man's life," Linden said. "A case of culpable homicide has been opened, and police are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. At this stage, it is not clear who fired the fatal shot that killed Mr. Jelinic. Our investigations are ongoing."
A friend of the deceased hunter said his friend "was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that, he traveled most of the world. For the past year, he had leased his hotel to dedicate himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoy a deserved retirement. He, unfortunately, received the ugliest end - he died in South Africa doing what he loved."
The eulogy went on to say, "His office, a hunting hall, was full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe." Jelenic was participating in a highly controversial form of hunting called "canned" lion hunting where the big cats are bred in captivity and kept on private, fenced land where they are easily shot by hunters for a fee.
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