A big game hunter died Friday in Zimbabwe when a member of his hunting group fired their gun at an elephant striking it and causing it to fall on him.

The group had gone for a walk in the afternoon near Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park when three elephants stormed the group, News 24 reported. A fourth elephant stormed the group from the side and was shot. The animal grabbed 51-year-old Theunis Botha with its trunk, then collapsed and fell on him.

Botha had "unknowingly" approached the elephant herd, a wildlife official told The Associated Press. Simukai Nyasha, spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said Botha was on a 10-day, licensed hunt.


Botha was a specialist in hunting leopards with hounds. Game Hounds Safaris, Botha’s company, said in a statement that he pioneered the hunts using packs of dogs in southern Africa.

Botha was well known in Zimbabwe and helped recruit Americans for trophy hunting, News 24 added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.