Revenge of the Wildlife: Nile Crocodiles Devour Man Who Kills Wild Animals for 'Trophy'
Scott Van Zyl, a notorious wildlife hunter, was confirmed to have been eaten by Nile crocodiles that ironically were his targets during a hunting expedition.
According to local news, the Heritage Protection Group (HPG) confirmed that the DNA of the South African hunter was found in the stomachs of three Nile crocodiles that were shot at the Limpopo River, approximately 300 meters around the site where Van Zyl's backpack was found.
The toe-cap of a CAT boot similar to that worn by Van Zyl when he disappeared was also found in one of the three Nile crocodiles. The authorities allegedly had the permission to shoot the reptiles.
The Independent said Van Zyl disappeared during a hunting trip on the Zimbabwean-South African border with a local tracker and a pack of dogs on April 7. They allegedly got separated when they went separate directions to search for crocodiles. The camp started the search as soon as the pack of dogs returned to their base without Van Zyl.
Zimbabwean operator Tokkie van der Merwe contacted the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association (ZPHGA) as well as the Limpopo Hunters Liaison Forum (LHLF) and began the search. Services of a Sub-Aqua Team to search in the Limpopo River itself was also requested.
Van Zyl, according to New York Post, owns the SS Pro Safaris company that takes foreign clients on hunting trips for $9,000. The package is inclusive of exploring nature preserves and killing up to seven wildlife -- including leopards, zebras and even the king of the jungle lions.
While his safari fraternity is mourning his death, conservation groups do not feel the same. One Green Planet said in statement, "[He] shouldn't have been hunting in the first place. Animals in the wild... are wild! They are living, thinking beings with instincts for survival."
Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), the second largest extant reptile in the world next to saltwater crocodiles, is commonly found in Zimbabwe. Arkive noted that conflict with humans presents the greatest threat to these animals.