Riaan Naude. Photo: Pro Hunt Africa / Facebook.
A South African wildlife trophy hunter who regularly posted photos of himself with the bodies of giraffes, lions and elephants has been killed. Riaan Naude was shot to death near his car in the eastern South African province of Limpopo, which is home to part of the country’s Kruger National Park. The 55-year-old was the owner and founder of Pro Hunt Africa – a group that organised paid hunting trips for customers.
Naude was found by police on Monday “lying with his face up” with “blood on his head and face," according to a police spokesperson. Some local reports suggest that Naude was killed shortly after he stopped on the side of the road after his car overheated. Another car is believed to have pulled up alongside him before two men got out and shot him from close range. The suspects then quickly drove off after stealing one of Naude’s guns. An investigation into Naude’s murder is underway, and there's currently no suggestion that he was targeted because of his trophy hunting – a lucrative activity that remains legal in South Africa. In February, to the frustration of wildlife groups, the South African government announced an increase in the quotas for the number of endangered elephants, black rhinos and leopards that hunters can kill.