Trophy hunter shot dead and left on the side of the road in South Africa

Riaan Naude poses alongside a dead elephant. He is wearing a white shirt and holding a gun.
Riaan Naude poses alongside a dead elephant. Instagram / @pro_hunt_africa

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A trophy hunter who was known for killing large animals and helping others do the same was shot and left for dead on the side of the road in South Africa, police have confirmed.

Riaan Naude, 55, was the owner and founder of Pro Hunt Africa, a tour group that facilitates paid wildlife hunting trips in the country’s northeastern province of Limpopo.

According to local reports, Naude was found dead next to his truck on June 8 near Kruger National Park.

A Limpopo police representative told reporters that Naude was found lying on his back, with blood on his face and head.

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“The deceased was carrying two hunting firearms, clothes, water, whiskey, sleeping clothes and many live rounds like he was going hunting and camping somewhere around Sterkrevier, as there are many game farms with wild animals in the area,” Lt. Col. Mamphaswa Seabi said, per local media.

Reports said Naude was shot when he pulled to the side of the road while experiencing vehicle troubles. A nearby cattle herder reportedly heard the gunshot and witnessed a truck speeding away.

A glance at Naude’s Instagram feed shows the hunter and others posing alongside large dead animals, including elephants and giraffes.

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Trophy hunting — despite its controversy — is legal in South Africa. In fact, the country recently upped its kill quotas for 2022, to allow for killing 10 leopards, 150 elephants and 10 black rhinoceros.

Seabi told reporters they are still trying to track down a reason for Naude’s killing.

“The motive for the attack and the subsequent murder is unknown at this stage,” he said, adding they have not linked the murder to Naude’s affinity for trophy hunting.

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Naude was charging his clients $350 per day to hunt game, $2,500 for a crocodile and $1,500 for a giraffe, according to Pro Hunt Africa’s price list.

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