Professional Hunter from Texas Killed by the Elephant He was Tracking

April 20, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

The hunter has become the hunted.

A big game hunter, Ian Gibson, was trampled to death by an elephant he was attempting to kill for sport, according to Safari Classics, a hunting website.

He was leading a hunt in Zimbabwe’s Chewore North. The site says he then spotted and tracked the bull elephant.

An African elephant and her baby are pictured on November 18, 2012 in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. (Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)
An African elephant and her baby are pictured on November 18, 2012 in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. (Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

However, the elephant charged him from about 150 feet away, killing him.

The site wrote: “Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding an elephant hunt in Chewore North.”

It added: “At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.”

Paul Smith, managing director of Chifuti Safaris, told the U.K. Telegraph: “We don’t yet know the full details of how ‘Gibbo’ as we called him, died, as the American client and the trackers are still too traumatised to give us full details.”

However, when news of his death spread online, people cheered. Some animal rights supporters tweeted that Gibson “got what he deserved.”

In March, the United Nations released a report on elephant poaching, saying “the poaching of African elephants continued to exceed population growth rates throughout 2014.”

It doesn’t appear Gibson, who was originally from Texas, was hunting the elephant for its ivory, as he was going after the animal for sport. He was a popular figure with and was paid by the Dallas Safari Club.

The Club is paying for his funeral.

According to users on AfricaHunting.com, he was also a “wildlife photographer and conservationist,” per MailOnline.

“We know ‘Gibbo’ shot it once, from about 10 yards away, with a 458 [rifle]. He would never have fired unless he had no alternative. He was a hunter, yes, but he was also a magnificent wildlife photographer and conservationist,” they said.

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