In what has been described as a freak accident, a big game hunter has been shot dead.
The hunter’s name is Pero Jelenic, and he was 75 years of age at the time of his death. He was from Pag, a Croatian island.
He perished in South Africa while he was taking aim at a lion, but then a stray bullet killed him. He had reportedly already killed one lion, and was aiming at another.
Pero, who was an hotelier, was hunting in South Africa’s North West, which is a province of the country.
According to Slavko Pernar, a friend of the deceased, Pero was a “passionate hunter” who was looking for a new challenge; he travelled to Africa in order to land what was described as a “lion trophy”. Apparently, according to the friend, the man had already hunted all the game “that could be hunted” on the European continent.
It is currently unknown who is responsible for firing the bullet that ended up killing Pero Jelenic. Police do not suspect foul play—it seems his death was merely an accident and nothing more.
Pero travelled to South Africa with two friends specifically because he wanted to hunt big cats. Doing so would complete his trophy collection, which a friend described as “extensive”. He was particularly interested in collecting the head of a lion, which would put a crown on his “rich hunting career”.
Pero Jelenic was so passionate and ambitious in regard to the hunt that he even leased out his hotel so that he could completely and totally devote himself to hunting—as well as enjoy his retirement.
His friend Slavko said that Pero was a passionate hunter of both small and big game, adding that he travelled the world in order to do so. His friend said that he unfortunately met with the ugliest of ends, dying in South Africa doing what he loved.
According to the friend, Pero’s office was a hunting hall, and it was full of his hunting trophies—deer, bears, and pretty much everything that could be hunted in Croatia and the rest of Europe.
The Leeuwbosch Game Lodge was the site of Slavko’s death. The Leeuwbosch Lodge, which is about a 4-hour drive from the Johannesburg airport and 60 kilometers from the Botswana border, supports “controlled hunting”—according to its website. It offers professional hunting guides as well as facilities for slaughtering and refrigeration.
The owner of the aforementioned lodge, whose name is Dr. Gideon Engelbrecht, spoke to the media and said that he wasn’t present at the lodge when Pero Jelenic was killed by the stray bullet. He said that he made sure there was a helicopter to take the injured hunter to a hospital, but he refused to comment further due to the fact the case is still being investigated.
A police spokesperson confirmed that Pero was airlifted to a hospital via helicopter; doctors were unable to save his life, however.
That spokesperson also stated that there has been a case of “culpable homicide” opened, and there is also an investigation into charges of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition. The spokesperson also confirmed that it is not yet clear who fired the shot that killed Pero.
The ‘canned’ lion-hunting industry, which is pretty lucrative in South Africa, is pretty controversial amongst both hunters and animal lovers. Basically, lions are bred in captivity so that they can be killed by hunters.
Lions are kept in a confined space via the use of fences, so they really have no chance of escape when hunters try to claim their trophy.
Back in November of 2015, South Africa’s professional hunters association (PHASA) actually voted to ban its members from participating in canned hunts of the sort described above; they were described as “vanity hunting”. However, that ruling was reversed in 2017. Obviously, animal rights groups were not pleased.As he stalked
Canned lion hunting sounds terrible and may indeed be, but the fact of the matter is that lions have been hunted since ancient times. Back in ancient Egypt, lion hunts were the domain of Pharaohs; it was also reserved for kings in Assyria. It has been considered a rite of passage by the Maasai.
Lions are actually considered a vulnerable species, and certain subspecies are actually considered endangered. There are less than 20,000 of them in the wild; 130 years ago or so, there were over a million of them roaming the planet. The massive decline of the lion population is largely attributed to poaching and trophy hunting—as well as the destruction of their habitat.
H/T – Source