Big Game Hunter Crushed To Death By Elephant He Was Stalking


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

Nature fights back. EcoPrint/Shutterstock

Big game hunters aren’t having much luck with elephants as of late. Despite being armed to the teeth and equipped with vehicles, tracking equipment, and more, they’re finding out the hard way that these massive wild animals aren’t that happy being shot at.

Back in May, it was reported that, in Zimbabwe, a well-known South African hunter was crushed beneath the corpse of an elephant that his rifle-wielding friends had shot at. Now it looks like an Argentinian hunter has also reached the end of the road after being trampled to death by his own elephantine target.


The body of Jose Monzalvez, a 46-year-old oil company employee, was found with severe compressional wounds at a private wildlife area in Namibia last weekend. He was with three Namibian colleagues when he was killed.

According to reports, Monzalvez was stalking a herd of elephants and looking for a prime opportunity to shoot at them without being seen. One of the elephants spotted him sleuthing around and, recognizing the threat humans pose in that wildlife reserve, charged at him. Clearly, he wasn’t fast enough to outrun it, and was subsequently crushed.

As we mentioned the last time this happened, on a very basic level, this is an unfair fight, and hunters are overwhelmingly more likely to kill their target than the other way around. Nevertheless, as this example clearly shows, it happens – and although the death of a person is always regretful, you can’t blame the animal for fighting back.

It’s important to note that Monzalvez was engaging in a legal activity; he had a license to hunt elephants in that area. Poaching is easy to condemn, but there are some ecological proponents of legal big game hunting, who have argued in the past that carefully managed hunting can actually foster conservation.


The evidence for this is decidedly shaky, however. Most of the time, big game hunting just involves shooting endangered animals to death in a large, outside cage for profit that doesn’t always go to the local community.

[H/T: ABC News]

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