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Trophy Hunter Fatally Gored In Groin By Herd Mate Of Buffalo He’d Just Killed

Editor’s Note: This story is originally from May 2018.

Trophy hunting is a form of sport in which enthusiasts hunt wild animals that are seen as trophies. In many cases, parts of the hunted animal are kept and displayed by the hunter as a way of ‘honoring’ the animal and remembering the hunt. There are other cases where hunted animals are eaten by hunters. This is mostly game animals and done in Africa, but more specific parts of Southern Africa. 

Was it karma?

In 2018, 54-year-old Claude Kleynhans, a longtime South African trophy hunter, was loading his freshly-killed African buffalo carcass onto his safari vehicle. It was then that another member of the herd caught him off guard with a fatal charge. Claude had been hunting game for more than 30 years in South Africa and neighboring countries like Zambia and Botswana and now the animals he hunted have finally sent him to his death. 

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On May 22, 2018, Claude and his hunting party delivered a fatal shot to an African buffalo near the Levbu River in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo. As they prepared to load the dead buffalo onto their vehicle, one of the other buffalos from the same herd charged and gored him in his groin. The attack was fatal as it hit his femoral artery, killing him instantly, reported the local news site, Bosveld Review. 

They were working on the bushes to open the animal and did not see the other buffalo,” reported Karen Kuhne Kleynhans, Claude’s sister-in-law, to the local Afrikaans news outlet Maroela Media. “The buffalo struck him and pronged him with its horn in his groin.” “He loved what he did,” He died doing what he loved.” She added.

Guwela Safaris

Claude started his hunts, tours, and photography trips with his company, Guwela Safaris. Based in Hoedspruit, a town near South Africa’s northern border in 1987. His company not only provided hunting trips, but also “excellent accommodations’‘ and “fine cuisine” experiences for the tour guests. Paying guests were able to choose from a menu of dozens of wild games that they would like to kill. Some of the fees these guests would have to pay for hunting and killing animals like zebras and giraffes ranged anywhere between $1500 and $2850. However, the amount for animals like lions, elephants, and African buffalo – a special package which he promised was a “100% success” was not disclosed.

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The African Buffalo 

The African buffalo weighs in at 1300 pounds and is known to be dangerously aggressive, territorial, and protective of other herd members. They have been known to easily fight off lion attacks and if they feel the need to kill a human who poses a threat to the herd, they can easily do so too. According to some estimates, the African buffalo has killed more hunters than any other animal species in Africa. Claude never stood a chance against the attack. He is survived by his widow, three children, and family members. 

Claude was described by local news outlets as an ethical hunter and despite claiming that he hunted so, (and that the Cape buffalo isn’t on the endangered species list) his legacy was scrutinized on social media while some commenters claimed he was a poacher that got what he deserved. Unfortunately, in this case, the poacher characterization doesn’t apply however, the large controversy around African game hunting lives on. 

Here are some trophy hunting facts:

  • There are eight key African countries where hunters contribute about 0.3% of gross domestic product. This is about 0.76% of the overall tourism jobs.
  • Most trophy hunters are American. A US-based hunting industry group called the Safari Club International senselessly promotes the slaughter of wildlife as a sport. They offer their members the opportunity to win nearly 50 awards for killing wild animals around the world.
  • The most hunted animals include lions, rhinos, elephants, and leopards.
  • Killing the strongest male of a herd or pride undoubtedly results in additional deaths. For example, when the strongest or alpha male of an African lion is killed, the females and their cubs become vulnerable to another alpha male. This male could will take over the pride and kill the previous male’s cubs.
  • Killing the strongest males in the wild also affects people negatively. When the alpha has been killed, the juveniles who are less experienced and more daring are more prone to moving into farmlands. Here, they begin killing livestock and in some cases, attacking humans.
  • There is also a bigger issue that comes to question when speaking about trophy hunting. That is “canned hunting” through commercial as well as illegal operations. Here, they actually breed animals like lions and zebras, to mention a few, to be shot in captivity.

So the question remains, is there such a thing as ethical trophy hunting when money is involved? Or, is it a facade to exploit otherwise helpless wild animals for human egotistical gain?

Keep Reading: Wildlife Trophy Hunter Killed In South Africa After Being Shot ‘Execution Style’


  1. Trophy hunter who shot dead buffalo gets gored to death himself after second beast from herd charges at him.Mirror. Tom Davidson. May 30, 2018.
  2. Trophy Hunting.HSI
  3. Trophy Hunting.Wikipedia