Big game hunter shot dead while aiming his rifle at an African lion

Pero Jelinic, 75, was looking to complete his “extensive collection” of big cat hides as he hunted lions in South Africa this past weekend. But after killing one lion, he raised his weapon towards another one and was struck by a bullet from another hunter.

The incident took place near near Setlagole, South Africa according to local news outlets. Police spokesperson Charlize van der Linden told News24 that Jelinic was preparing to shoot another lion when he was hit.

“He was airlifted to Vryburg Hospital by helicopter, but doctors were unable to save the man’s life,” van der Linden told News24. “A case of culpable homicide has been opened, and police are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. At this stage it is not clear who fired the fatal shot that killed Mr Jelinic. Our investigations are ongoing.”

From News24:

South Africa’s legal, but highly controversial captive-bred lion hunting industry, commonly known as “canned” lion-hunting, recently came under fire from a host of reputable international and African hunting organisations.

The list includes prominent American hunting institution, Dallas Safari Club, which earlier this month issued a scathing statement denouncing captive bred lion hunts.

Pero Jelinic (Facebook)

Speaking to local news outlets, friends of the retired Croatian hotelier say he was a big fan of “canned” lion hunting. As RawStory points out, friend Slavko Pernar told the Croatian paper Jutarnji List that Jelinic “was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world.”

“He, unfortunately, received the ugliest end – he died in South Africa doing what he loved. His office, a hunting hall, was full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe.”

Featured image via Flickr