(ELEPHANTS/HUNTING) Ian Gibson, a professional hunter who led big-game safaris in Africa, was reported dead last week after he was trampled by an elephant he was tracking to kill for ivory.

Gibson was hunting the bull elephant with his client for approximately five hours in Chewore North in the lower Zambezi Valley when the group stopped to rest.

While the client rested, Gibson and his tracker Robert continued to follow the elephant’s tracks to get a “look at the ivory,” according to a statement from Safari Classics on a hunting message board.

Ian Gibson had been tracking the elephant for five hours before being trampled to death. Photo Credit: AfricanHunting.com and Wikipedia/Paul Mannix - Elephant, Amboseli National Park, Kenya/Creative Commons
Ian Gibson had been tracking the elephant for five hours before being trampled to death. Photo Credit: AfricanHunting.com and Wikipedia/Paul Mannix – Elephant, Amboseli National Park, Kenya/Creative Commons

Robert warned Gibson that the bull elephant was in “musth”–a dangerous state of mind caused by elevated testosterone levels which leads an elephant to become overly aggressive from the desperate urge to mate. But despite Robert’s warning, Gibson continued on.

After some time, Robert and Gibson found the bull elephant. They were approximately 50-100 yards away when the bull “instantly turned and began a full charge,” the statement said. “At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.”

It’s not yet determined whether the bull elephant was killed or injured by Gibson’s shot.

In another statement, Dave Fulson, co-owner of the Dallas-based Safari Classics said, “Ian Gibson was a fine man and one of the most experienced professional hunters on the African continent. He will be deeply missed by all.”

During his time with Safari Classics, Gibson led many hunts for exotic animals, enabling clients to kill animals such as lions, elephants, hippos, and cheetahs on a regular basis.

The stark irony behind this tragic event has the Internet up in arms, with many anti-hunting activists saying Gibson deserved what happened to him. What do you think? Did the bull elephant end the hunter’s life in a grand attempt to save his own?

— Sabrina Clinkenbeard, exclusive to Global Animal

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS:

SHARE

1 COMMENT

  1. What I really want to know is how in world is he and Safari Classics able to (apparently) legitimately kill elephants for ivory when nations around the world are banning the sale of ivory, actively pursuing ivory poachers, and trying to crack down in killing animals for ivory? How is he SO SPECIAL that he can be allowed to do this? And Safari Classics? What a huge black stain on America. No — what a huge red bloody stain. So shameful.