Ian Gibson was trampled to death by a raging elephant bull which he was reportedly hunting for his ivory tusks. However, the truth behind Gibson’s death is not quite as simple as saying that the hunter has become the hunted and that he deserved it. Quite interestingly, Gibson’s death – which is being celebrated by anti-hunters and animal advocates – is not that simple.
As Huff Post reports on April 17, 55-year-old professional big game hunter Gibson was tracking elephants in Chewore North in the lower Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe when a young bull elephant charged at him and trampled him to death.
In fact, Gibson was not really the hunter during the incident, but he was an employee of Chifuti Safaris assisting Americans to hunt for big game in Africa. Chifuti Safaris is owned by two of Africa’s most recognized and well respected professional hunters and safari operators, Andrew Dawson and Paul Smith, and it is represented exclusively by Safari Classics, a company based in Dallas, Texas. The company, whose owners are Tim Danklef, Dave Fulson and Ivan Carter, promises tourists a big game hunting adventure of a lifetime.
“Hunts packages vary from our 10-day Cape buffalo and plains game safari to a full bag, 21-day safari that would include lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. Chifuti safaris is widely regarded as one of Africa’s premier dangerous game operators.”
Safari Classics is not just a tourist company but its sponsors include gun manufacturers, any kind of hunting accessories, cameras, camping equipment, and much more. As an employee to the big game hunting industry, Gibson was doing his job as a hunting guide.
On the day Gibson was trampled to death by the elephant bull, he was not trying to kill for his own sport or for the bull’s ivory — as widely reported — but he was guiding an elephant hunt for a client:
“Ian and his client had been on the tracks of an elephant bull for approximately 5 hours when they decided to take a break and allow the client to rest. Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client, stayed with the game scout to rest. Robert indicated the bull was in musk. They eventually caught up to the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 meters. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge. Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.”
Ian Gibson being trampled to death by the angry elephant has prompted many cheers among animal advocates and anti-hunters. It has also prompted Safari Classics to justify its big game hunting activities stating that elephants and other animals are being killed by professional hunters in Africa and across the globe because “hunting helped provide millions of dollars in donations to numerous conservation and anti-poaching groups.” Ian Gibson is leaving behind friends, coworkers, and family members who dearly miss him.