The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Professional Game Hunter Ian Gibson Killed by a Young Bull Elephant

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Professional Game Hunter Ian Gibson Killed by a Young Bull Elephant

A young bull elephant killed professional hunter Ian Gibson early on Wednesday as he tracked a lion for an American client in a rugged part of north-east Zimbabwe.

Mr. Gibson, 55, one of Zimbabwe's best known big game hunters, died scouting for prey in the Zambezi Valley after a young bull elephant charged, then knelt on him and crushed him to death.

"We don't yet know the full details of how 'Gibbo' as we called him, died, as the American client and the trackers are still too traumatized to give us full details," said Paul Smith, Managing Director, of Chifuti Safaris' which employed Mr. Gibson for the hunt.

The American hunter was on his first trip to Zimbabwe, and only has one leg, but was "fit and strong" and had already shot a leopard. Mr. Gibson was scouting for lions when he encountered the elephant.

Mr. Gibson's trackers said the young bull had been in a musth period, which means it was producing much more testosterone then usual.

"We know 'Gibbo' shot it once, from about 10 yards away, with a 458 rifle. He would never have fired unless he had no alternative. He was a hunter, yes, but he was also a magnificent wildlife photographer and conservationist.

"He was so experienced and this is a most unexpected tragedy."

Mr. Gibson was accompanying his client in an area known as Chiwore North, in the southern part of the Zambezi Valley, which Mr. Smith said is overpopulated with elephants.

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