Scott Van Zyl loves hunting. He loved killing animals so much that he turned his passion into his profession. Zyl, 44, founded his own safari hunting company called SS Pro Safaris. He loved aiming his gun at wild animals and apex predators and leading others to do the same. However, in 2017, Zyl would take his final safari after nature finally decided to fight back and defend itself.
Because Zyl was out in the wild when nature launched its counterattack, the exact details of his final moments are not known. However, Zyl died a violent death – that much cannot be denied. He left his hunting party, splitting off from the rest of the people during a crocodile hunt near the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe.
Although Zyl had departed with his hunting dogs, the canines returned without him a few hours later. That’s when the rest of the people in his hunting party grew concerned. Zyl had often boasted about how he was among the best safari hunters on the continent. So, when he did not return with his dogs, they knew that something had gone wrong. The others dispatched a team of rescuers and volunteers to find the hunter. Although the teams of people did their best to locate the experienced hunter, they could not find him that day. They exploited every means available to them, including the use of helicopters.
When the night started to descend on the African terrain, the rescuers handed out pamphlets with Zyl’s image on it to the people nearby in the villages and fishing along the waterways. Although the locals did their best to pitch in, no one could find the missing hunter. It was not until later that the rescuers discovered a clue.
They found a set of footprints leading to the bank of the Limpopo. When they followed the prints as far as they could go, they came upon another clue – Zyl’s backpack. It was wet and torn up. That’s when the rescuers saw the gang of big crocodiles lurking nearby.
Although Zyl was on a hunting trip to kill crocodiles, the reptiles outsmarted him and took him down while he stood near the water onshore. Crocodiles usually lurk in deeper water, so either Zyl waded out into the water to use himself as bait, or the crocodiles moved faster than he was able to. Either way, they latched their massive jaws and sharp teeth on his body, and his screams of pain went unheard in the remote location along the African river.
Because authorities wanted to locate Zyl’s body, they gave permission to the rescue team to shoot three crocodiles so they could search for the remains of the slain hunter. When they cut open the crocodiles’ stomachs, they found what they were looking for. One croc had human remains in its gut. A DNA test quickly confirmed that the remains belonged to Zyl. He died doing what he loved best – hunting – but nature got the better of him in the end.
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