Seventy-five-year-old Croatian big game trophy hunter Pero Jelenic met a tragic end over the weekend in South Africa while staring down a lion.
Jelenic had just shot one lion and had another in his sights. Suddenly, he was the one who was shot.
The hunter, who a friend said hunted “everything that could be hunted in Europe,” was in South Africa enjoying his retirement and doing what he liked to do.
But a stray bullet struck Jelenic as he tracked the second beast, and it’s not yet clear who fired the shot.
The Independent reported that while authorities “do not suspect foul play,” they are treating this as a case of “culpable homicide.”
Police spokeswoman Charlize van der Linden said Jelenic was airlifted to a hospital but could not be saved.
“He was airlifted to Vryburg Hospital by helicopter, but doctors were unable to save the man’s life,” she said. “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.”
“For the past year he had leased his hotel to dedicated himself to the things he planned to accomplish and enjoyed a deserved retirement.
Slavko Pernar described his friend’s death as “the ugliest end.”
“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,” he said.
Rather than sympathizing, many apparent animal lovers on social media have reacted to Jelenic’s death by saying he had it coming.