A big game hunter who had hunted “everything that could be hunted in Europe” was shot dead while hunting lions in South Africa.
Trophy hunter Pero Jelinic, 75, died Saturday, Jan. 27 after being struck by a stray bullet while hunting lions on a remote farm that practices “canned” lion hunting, the Daily Mail reports.
Jelinic, who was a hotelier from Croatia, had traveled from the island of Pag to Leeubosch Lodge, a four-hour drive from Johannesburg and just 40 miles from the border with Botswana, to complete the hunt. He had allegedly already killed one lion and was about to shoot another when he was shot. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to save his life.
According to Slavko Pernar, a friend of Jelinic, the 75-year-old was a passionate hunter who had gone to South Africa hoping “to complete his extensive trophy collection” by shooting and killing a lion to “crown his rich hunting career.”
“Pero was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world. For the past year he had leased his hotel to dedicated himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoyed a deserved retirement.,” Pernar said. “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.”
“A case of culpable homicide has been opened, and police are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition,” Brigadier Mokgwabone said, adding that police currently do not know who fired the shot and that foul play is not suspected.
Leeubosch Lodge, where the hunt took place, is known for practicing “canned” lion hunting, in which the animals are kept in confined, fenced-in areas without the possibility of escape in order to allow hunters the best possible chance at a kill. The practice is highly controversial among both animal lovers and hunters.