Human Remains Indicate That Crocodiles Ate This Trophy Hunter

Published by Zachary Toliver.

A South African trophy hunter is suspected to have met his demise—in what some would call an act of karma—by becoming prey while hunting: At least one of two crocodiles tested positive for human remains.

For weeks, people searched for Scott van Zyl, whose company orchestrates hunting trips for foreign clients so that they can kill animals ranging from (you guessed it) crocodiles to honey badgers and hyenas. Van Zyl was on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe when he went missing after reportedly walking into the bush to look for his next victims. People feared the worst when his backpack was found on the banks of the Limpopo River.

This man, who killed numerous animals over the course of his blood-thirsty hunting career, managed to cause the deaths of two more even after his own death. According to reports, police and nature conservation services shot two Nile crocodiles in the region who were suspected of having eaten him. DNA tests confirmed that at least one of the crocodiles contained remains of the South African hunter.

Van Zyl would still be alive if he’d recognized that hunting is cruel.

Hunting is often called a “sport” as a way to pretend that a cruel, needless killing spree is a socially acceptable, wholesome activity. However, real sports involve competition between two consenting parties and the mediation of a referee. And no sport ends with the deliberate death of one unwilling participant.

If these crocodiles weren’t participating in a “sport,” then neither was van Zyl.

Imagine just how horrifying it is to be preyed upon by a member of another species. We can only hope that van Zyl’s story encourages hunters to put down their rifles for good and enjoy nature by hiking, bird watching, or participating in other nonviolent activities, instead of killing animals.

What You Can Do

Tell others the truth about hunting, encourage officials to enforce animal-protection laws, and insist that nonhunters be equally represented on the staffs of wildlife agencies.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind