Wildlife trophy hunter shot dead ‘execution-style’ in South Africa

By Malavika Pradeep

Updated Jul 8, 2022 at 01:13 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

A trophy hunter who frequently boasted about the elephants, giraffes, lions and other wildlife animals he’s killed for fun has been shot by two unknown gunmen and left for dead in his car on the side of the road.

55-year-old Riaan Naude was gunned down “at close range” in the South African province of Limpopo, an area that includes part of the Kruger National Park wildlife reserve. Speaking to Maroela Media, Lieutenant Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi, a spokesperson for South Africa’s national police force, said that Naude was found “​​lying with his face up” with “blood on his head and face.”

The Heritage Protection Group, a not-for-profit group against rhino poaching, claims Naude was killed when he stopped on the side of the road after his truck overheated around 5 kilometres from Mokopane. Another vehicle is believed to have pulled up alongside his truck before two men got out and shot him “execution-style” on his head. The suspects then quickly drove off after stealing one of Naude’s guns.

“Police found two hunting rifles, ammunition, clothes, water, whiskey and pyjamas in the deceased’s [truck]. It looks like he was on his way to go hunting,” Seabi continued. “The motive for the attack and the subsequent murder is unknown at this stage.”

 

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A post shared by Riaan Naude (@pro_hunt_africa)

Naude ran Pro Hunt Africa, a business that describes itself as a “hunting and Eco Safari outfit” located in northernmost South Africa and working across South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. According to its website, Pro Hunt Africa specialises in “dangerous game and plains game hunting safaris with an emphasis on quality.”

As per its price list, the business charges $350 (£289) per day to hunt game, $2,500 (£2,064) to hunt crocodiles and $1,500 (£1,238) to kill a giraffe.

After news of Naude’s death hit the public, netizens have since flooded his Facebook and Instagram pages to highlight how the hunter became the hunted. “Justice has been served,” a user commented, while a second wrote, “Not a single tear lost for this awful human.”

“His murder clearly was his destiny, for he was the biggest murderer himself,” a third admitted. “Can’t say I am sorry to hear that this guy died the exact same way that he chose to kill all of these beautiful animals. An eye for an eye… Good riddance…”

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