Deep in the South African outback, the hunter drew a bead. The lion paused and was perfectly situated in his crosshairs.
The hunter dropped to the ground. He was an old man who would hunt no more.
He was dead.
The restauranteur named Pero, who was from Croatia, had gone to Africa to shoot lions, not to tame them. He had already hunted
everything that could be hunted in Europe, his friends said. So he went to Africa.
There was one big difference. In Europe, he went hunting. In Africa, he would go shooting.
He would participate in a canned hunt. What is that? you may ask.
A canned hunt is a trophy hunt. The animal is kept in a fenced-in area. This makes it easier on the hunter and increased the likelihood of a kill.
The mild-mannered Croat, whom neighbors described as kind to children and dogs, went to Africa to shoot big game
in a risk-free setting.
It is a popular pastime with certain types of men, those who like sure thing. Those who need trophies to show they are the real thing.
In this case, the Croatian big game hunter was preparing to shoot a lion during a hunting expedition in South Africa when he himself was shot and killed.
Pero Jelinic had already killed one lion and was sighting in a second recently at a remote lodge near Setiagole.
Initially, the bullet that hit Jelinic was described as “stray.” The police are now investigating the incident as a possible homicide.
The lions were captive-bred. They had been farm-raised to be hunted in a legal yet controversial sport. It is a sport also practiced by luminaries like the sons of the President of the United States.
Total Croatia News reported that Jelinic, 75, was killed by “unknown assailants.”
South Africa’s News24 quoted police as saying it was not clear who fired the fatal shot but that a case of “culpable homicide” had been opened and were investigating possible illegal firearms charges.
Note: There is currently no prospect of a ban on canned hunting in S.A. There is no ethic of animal welfare in S.A. Government structures; on the contrary the President himself has stated publicly that “compassion for animals is ‘un-African.” There exists a strong hunting culture at all levels and across the racial divide.
Jelenic, a retired hotelier on the island of Pag, was passionate about stalking and shooting animals of all sizes. A friend of Jelenic told Total Croatia News that the lion trophy was to be the crowning jewel of his rich hunting career.
Earlier this month, the Dallas Safari Club condemned the practice of canned hunting, stating that “there is no evidence or scientific research to suggest that captive bred lion hunting contributes to the conservation of wild lion.