When 44-year-old professional hunter, Scott Van Zyl’s dogs returned to base camp without him last week, his tracking guide instantly knew that something was wrong. The pair were on a routine safari in the jungles of Zimbabwe, but separated from one another to search for crocodiles. After Van Zyl’s backpack and footprints were discovered by trackers near the banks of the Limpopo River, friends and family feared the worst.
Three massive Nile crocodiles were spotted by the banks of the river during the search. Suspecting that they may have attacked Van Nyl, the animals were shot and killed.
DNA tests later confirmed that remains discovered inside one of those crocodiles indeed belonged to the missing hunter. Sakkie Louwrens, the director of the South African anti-poaching NGO Heritage Protection Group, told the BBC:
“Permission was given for three Nile crocodiles in the area to be shot, and one of them contained Mr Van Zyl’s remains,” he said. “Subsequent DNA tests have proved the remains to be those of Mr Van Zyl.”
The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and may be considered the second largest extant…
Scott Van Nyl was a married father of two. He ran a company called SS Pro Safari for the past 16 years, guiding tourists on hunting safaris throughout South Africa. Targeted animals included lions, leopards, rhinos, wildebeests, and African elephants.
Despite his many years of experience, Van Nyl fell prey to what is considered to be the most dangerous species of crocodile in the world. Nile crocodiles are responsible for hundreds of human deaths each year. At least three other fatal attacks have been reported in Zimbabwe in 2017.
The deadly hunting style of the Nile Crocodile involves submerging themselves almost entirely in rivers and lakes. They are able to remain silent and still for hours before springing to action with lethal speed, accuracy and strength at the first sign of prey.
H/T to BBC.com
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