Croatian trophy hunter shot dead while tracking lion in South Africa

Pero Jelinic, a 75-year-old Croatian, was killed while hunting lions in South Africa.
A Croatian man was hunting a lion when he was killed in South Africa. Photo credit: Getty

A Croatian trophy hunter has been shot dead as he tracked a lion in South Africa in the weekend.

Pero Jelinic, 75, was an experienced hunter who frequently travelled with the intention of adding to his already sizeable trophy collection.  

A police spokesperson told News24 that the hunting party had killed one lion and were tracking a second when Mr Jelinic was struck by a stray bullet. 

It remains unknown who fired the fatal shot, and police are investigating a case of culpable homicide as well as illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mr Jelinic was killed at Leeubosch Lodge, a remote farm in the North West province of South Africa where captive lions are bred to be hunted by paying visitors.

The controversial practice is legal in South Africa, with 200 'canned hunting' farms throughout the country. 

Friend Slavko Pernar told Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List Mr Jelinic's office was "full of trophies, deer and bear specimens and everything that could be hunted in Croatia and Europe".

"Pero was a passionate hunter of big and small game, and in search of that he travelled most of the world," Mr Pernar said.