Hunter fatally shot while trying to kill lion in Africa

(WSVN) - A hunter was fatally shot in Africa while trying to kill a lion, police said.

According to BBC News, 75-year-old Pero Jelinic was hunting with a group at a farm near Johannesburg on Saturday when police said he was struck by a bullet. Jelinic was airlifted to a hospital but later died from his injuries.

Jelinic’s friend was along for the hunt and said the group had already killed one lion and was tracking another when Jelinic got shot.

The group said it was an accident. However, police have reportedly opened a culpable homicide case.

“At this stage it is not clear who fired the fatal shot that killed Mr. Jelinic,” a police spokeswoman said to News 24. “Police are also investigating charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.”

Friends said Jelinic, a seasoned hunter, was a Croatian national and traveled around the world to hunt.

The hunters were tracking lions that had been bred in captivity, a practice called “canned” hunting that is legal in South Africa.

The country is the world’s largest exporter of animal heads, but animal rights activists have advocated for a ban of hunting lions bred into captivity in South Africa.

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