RT NEWS Posted Tues., Jan.30, 2018
A Croatian trophy hunter who travelled to South Africa after killing “everything that could be hunted in Europe” was inexplicably shot dead while aiming for a lion.
Pero Jelinić, 75, a hotelier from the Croatian island of Pag, had already killed a lion and was aiming for another on Saturday when a stray bullet struck him on a remote farm.
Jelinić travelled to Leeubosch Lodge in the North West province of South Africa with two friends to “complete his extensive trophy collection” and was particularly keen to claim the head of a lion “to crown his rich hunting career,” according to his friend and fellow hunter, Slavko Pernar.
“Pero was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world,” Pernar told Croatia’s Jutarnji List newspaper.
“For the past year he had leased his hotel to dedicate himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoyed a deserved retirement.
“He, unfortunately, received the ugliest end – he died in South Africa doing what he loved. His office, a hunting hall, was full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe.”
Leeubosch Lodge is part of South Africa’s ‘canned’ lion-hunting industry. A legal, but highly controversial, system whereby lions are bred in captivity for the sole purpose of hunting.
Dr Gideon Engelbrecht, the owner of the lodge, told South African news source News24 that the circumstances surrounding Jelinić’s death are under investigation.
“I arranged for a helicopter to take the man to hospital, but that’s all I am going to give you at this stage, because the case is still under investigation,” he said.
It remains unclear who is responsible for firing the shot, but officers are investigating the death as a culpable homicide and do not suspect foul play. They are also looking into possible charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, said South African police police spokesperson Captain Charlize van der Linden to News24.
RT.com has reached out to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for comment.