In many places in Africa, poaching is a real problem. Hunters sneak onto reserves and sanctuaries to kill animals for specific ‘precious’ parts, such as the ivory horns of elephants and rhinoceroses. Legal hunting, also known as “trophy” hunting, primarily done for sport and entertainment, is equally as problematic. The animals don’t just let hunters, legal or not, walk into their territory and kill them. No, often they will fight back, and sometimes they win. In this case, a renowned South African poacher eaten by crocodiles on a hunt in Zimbabwe is the embodiment of karma.
Poacher Eaten By Crocodiles While Hunting for Rhinos
In 2017, South African hunter Scott van Zyl went missing while on a hunt. Known for organizing hunting trips for foreign clients, it is believed he was eaten by crocodiles on the bank of the Limpopo River. (1)
He was accompanied by a pack of dogs and a Zimbabwean tracker, but the pair walked opposite directions into the bush. The dogs came back to their camp without van Zyl, who had left various belongings inside the truck. Rescue teams were sent in as well as helicopters, trackers, and divers in an attempt to find him. (1)
Eventually, his tracks were found leading up to the bank of the river, where his backpack was found. What they think maybe human remains were found inside two crocodiles in the river, which were tested by forensic scientists to determine whether or not they belong to van Zyl. (1)
His website states that he has completed numerous hunts, listing elephants, the blue duiker, buffalo, rhino, lions, leopards, and antelopes as target animals. (1)
Other Incidents of Poachers Eaten
While the loss of life is always a sad occasion, hunters and poachers who are intentionally killing endangered species for money and/or entertainment do need to be stopped. Though there are people and organizations in place to stop poachers before they hunt these precious species, sometimes the animals take matters into their own hands… or rather, paws.