Elephant hunt goes wrong in Greater Kruger

It took almost 24 hours before an American hunter, together with a South African professional hunter, could finally dispatch an elephant bull that they had wounded on a hunt. The elephant was shot on a permit issued for use on land owned by Johan Strijdom, which lies within the fences of the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) adjoining Kruger National Park.

The farm where the incident began, Nhoveni, is unfenced within the greater Balule Private Nature Reserve, but is not a member of the reserve and so is not bound by their hunting protocols.

The elephant was shot out of a breeding herd of about 70 animals which were at a waterhole. Neither of these activities is allowed by the APNR hunting protocol. After the first shot wounded the animal in the shoulder, the professional hunter let the client take a second shot, upon which the elephant took to its heels. The wounded bull then entered the neighbouring Olifants River Game Reserve, where efforts to locate it by the warden proved fruitless.

 It eventually crossed onto the farm Klipheuwel some kilometres away where it was killed after being spotted from a helicopter. The killing shot was fired almost 24 hours after the first shot was fired. Balule had earlier in the year decided not to hunt the five elephants allocated to them by the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism after objections were raised by one of the landowners in the reserve, Sybrand van der Spuy.

It had been proposed that one of the five permits would have been allocated to Nhoveni, although not a member of Balule. When Balule decided not to hunt, Brian Jones, the manager of Nhoveni, applied independently for elephant hunting permits for Nhoveni. They received permission to hunt three, despite Balule stating in writing to nature conservation that they would object if more than one permit were to be issued.

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