Big game hunter Riaan Naude, who was later shot and killed
instagram | @pro_hunt_africa

Trophy Hunter Hunted Down And Shot 'Execution-Style' In South Africa

For animal rights activists, the hunting of endangered animals for sport is about the worst thing a person could do. The practice is controversial to say the least, and those at the center of it often find themselves in the crosshairs — sometimes literally.

A big game hunter in South Africa was shot and killed in what locals are describing as an "execution-style" hit. At this time, the man's attackers are unknown.

Riaan Naude is a well-known big game hunter in South Africa.

Naude ran a company called Pro Hunt Africa, and his Instagram account is full of pics of the big animals that he killed. As The Mirror reported, the 55-year-old was found dead by the side of a road earlier this month.

Naude was shot dead next to his car in Limpopo, South Africa.

Map showing the location of Limpopo province in South Africa
Google Maps | Google

The province is known for its wildlife reserves, and is a favorite spot for big game hunters. Naude's truck broke down and when he got out to investigate the issue, he was reportedly shot and killed.

This Twitter account has some details.

Tweet describing the death of a big game hunter
twitter | @XposeTrophyKilling

It was from this account — @TrophyXpose — that we get the account of Naude being shot "execution style." All accounts should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as many details have not been confirmed.

There were a few eyewitnesses.

According to witnesses who spoke to The Mirror, two men got out of a white Nissan pickup truck and shot Naude. The two men then left the scene. A nearby cattle herder says he heard the confrontation and then saw the pickup truck speeding away.

The attackers' motives are unknown.

Photo of broken-down truck driven by slain big game hunter
Facebook | Hendrik Hattingh

Mamphaswa Seabi, a local police official, says that Naude's body was found "face up." He added that the crime is still under investigation.

"The motive for the attack and the subsequent murder is unknown at this stage," he said.

Photos from the scene show a desolate location.

Photo of broken-down truck driven by slain big game hunter
Facebook | Hendrik Hattingh

Limpopo has many sparsely-traveled roads, and it appears that it was along one of these roads that Naude was shot. Photos posted to an animal conservation group on Facebook show the scene of the crime.

Did Naude have enemies?

Photo of broken-down truck driven by slain big game hunter
Facebook | Hendrik Hattingh

It's almost a certainty that he did. Big game hunting is controversial, and Naude made his living as a hunting guide. At this time, there have been no specific reports of people who wanted to cause him harm.

It wasn't a robbery.

Photo of contents of broken-down truck driven by slain big game hunter
Facebook | Hendrik Hattingh

Robbing a broken-down truck wouldn't be unheard of in rural South Africa, but it appears that the assailants wanted to kill Naude, not rob him. Photos from the scene show that Naude's valuable equipment were not taken from his vehicle.

What do you think?

Big game hunter Riaan Naude, who was later shot and killed
instagram | @pro_hunt_africa

We'll provide updates as they become available, but it's entirely possible that this murder will go unsolved. Riaan Naude made his living in a controversial, and many would argue unethical, way, but his murder is shocking nonetheless. Let us know what you think of this story in the comments section.

h/t: The Mirror