A search and rescue mission was launched after his dogs returned to the camp without him
There comes a time when the hunter becomes the hunted. Little did Scott Van Zyl, who'd amassed trophies like zebras, wildebeests, leopards, and even lions, know it was his last day when he set out on one of his hunting trips. He ended up on the other side of the prey-predator relationship and was eaten by a crocodile, reports BBC.
Investigators confirm #SouthAfrican professional hunter Scott Van Zyl killed + eaten by crocodiles in #Zimbabwe https://t.co/qArJiqWoYt— Annamiticus (@annamiticus) April 21, 2017
The Science Times reports that Zyl was known for running SS Pro Safaris, which offered special trips for hunters to spend a week or longer on hunting grounds along the borders of natural preserves and promised to hunt as many as seven species for $9,000. He would also take his rich clientele on hunting expeditions and target giraffes, elephants, each of which had specific prices, unlisted on his website. There were also photos of his clients posing with the bodies of rare species along with his company's motto "Stop Whining, Go Hunting".
According to BBC, Zyl was on a hunting trip with a tracker and a pack of dogs near the Zimbabwe-South Africa border along the Limpopo River. The two split in search for crocodiles. However, when Zyl's dogs returned to the camp without him, a search and rescue mission was launched. The rescue team followed his footsteps only to find a backpack laying on the banks of the river. It was surmised that he had been eaten by the crocodiles.
Scott van Zyl 'Hunter' disappeared:— Manish Pandey (मनीष पाण्डेय) (@join2manish) April 21, 2017
Guy used to Hunt in Jungles,
Crocs made him their food 🍽🍖🍗https://t.co/iCUvBdZVKa 🐊🐊🐊🐊
😂😂 Wow Nature
Sakkie Louwrens, director of a crime-fighting South-African NGO stated that Van Zyl went missing during the second week of April 2017. Louwrens also said that Heritage Protection Group aided the authorities in the search of Van Zyl's remains. "Permission was given for three Nile crocodiles in the area to be shot, and one of them contained Mr. Van Zyl's remains. Subsequent DNA tests have proved the remains to be those of Mr. Van Zyl." According to One Green Planet, a rescue mission for Van Zyl involved a team of helicopters, divers, and trackers, as friends gave out missing posters in villages and to fishermen working along the river. "It’s believed he was eaten by crocodiles on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe, as the two reptiles were found with gunshot wounds and human remains inside their stomachs," the organization reported.
"Missing South African trophy hunter Scott van Zyl was eaten by a crocodile" #justiciapoética— wash your hands. wear a mask. stay home. 😷 (@bonnevivante) April 23, 2017
Infuriated by Van Zyl's history of trophy hunting animals, the organization further said: "Let’s be honest, Zyl shouldn’t have been hunting in the first place. Animals in the wild … are wild! They are living, thinking beings with instincts for survival. We have to ask ourselves if the 'thrill of the hunt' is really worth risking your own life – while deliberately taking others." Meanwhile, animal conservationists rejoiced at the poetic justice the hunter was delivered as a penance to his life-long history of killing animals for fun.
Around the month Van Zyl died, at least four people have been killed by crocodiles in Zimbabwe. According to Daily Mail, villages found the remains of an eight-year-old boy inside a crocodile when the cut the beast open in March 2017. The disturbing scene was even captured by an eyewitness with a smartphone in the village of Mushumbi Pools in northern Zimbabwe's Mashonaland Central Province. As per the villagers, the crocodile had killed and eaten the young boy and so they decided to shoot the animal dead.