Scott Van Zyl vanished last week after going on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe and now the remains of the father-of-two have been found inside two crocodiles. You’d think that we’d take some sort of celebratory stance in the face of a hunter facing karma, but we’re not going to go there. A man is dead, animals are still being hunted for no reason whatsoever and really the entire thing is pretty much awful.

Zyl, whose company runs hunting trips for foreign clients, went on a hunting safari with a Zimbabwean tracker and a pack of dogs but when they left their truck, Zyl and the tracker walked into the bush in two different directions. Later that same day, Zyl’s dogs returned to the truck… but without him.

A rescue mission was started with a team of helicopters, divers, and trackers, with friends giving out missing posters in villages and to fisherman along the river. Zyl’s footprints were then later spotted leading to the river bank, with trackers finding his backpack nearby. It’s believed he was eaten by crocodiles on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe, as the two reptiles were found with gunshot wounds and human remains inside their stomachs.

Let’s be honest, Zyl shouldn’t have been hunting in the first place. Animals in the wild … are wild! They are living, thinking beings with instincts for survival. We have to ask ourselves if the “thrill of the hunt” is really worth risking your own life – while deliberately taking others. 

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We don’t celebrate anyone’s death (human or animal) and see the entire situation as utterly senseless. African elephants are being hunted to extinction, along with rhinos, for their tusks and horns. Big cats are creeping closer to extinction from the wild while they are mercilessly hunted to become stuffed trophies or rugs. While bans on ivory and endangered species protections are popping up in more and more countries every day, the fact remains that poaching and big game hunting contribute to extinction and if we don’t take action now, we stand to lose some of the most iconic animals from the planet. In fact, we could lose the African elephant entirely by 2030. That’s less than two decades away.

Here’s a novel concept that can keep this situation from happening in the future. Let’s leave the wildlife alone. Instead of going to shoot big game, why not take a trip to simply appreciate the animals in their natural state? You can also support organizations like the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the World Wildlife Fund who are working towards conservation – without killing.

Image source: Against Wild and Endangered Animal Cruelty Page/Facebook