Theunis Botha was a husband and father of five.
In May, PH Theunis Botha was attacked and killed by elephant in Gwayi Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe. A number of cows charged. One cow knocked Theunis down, and a second was pressing him into the ground when shot on top of him. It was a coordinated, one-two attack. It is not clear if Botha was still alive when the second elephant was shot to end the attack.
What is clear is that PETA posted its twisted version of the death, and its followers posted offensive, derisive, insensitive comments. PETA opportunistically hopes that the story "compels other safari leaders to start shooting animals with cameras," but of course, had this father of five been carrying a camera he would nonetheless still be dead. The following is what his friends composed and read at his funeral.
Theunis Botha Eulogy
Imagine a wilderness area in Africa where hunters pay to hunt. Whereas nothing gets wasted, let's be clear that they are not hunting because they are hungry, they hunt because they love hunting.
Imagine the animals they pay to hunt are old males and they view these as trophies. The money they pay to hunt these trophies sustains this area and without which, the wildlife would be lost to poaching.
Imagine that this position changed and the hunters shifted from hunting the old males on a sustainable basis, to where they shoot everything, to where there is nothing left.
Imagine that once there is nothing left, the area is no longer economically viable as a hunting area and the decision is taken to remove the indigenous habitat and replace it with rows and rows of alien vegetation.
Imagine that this is how a field is made, where no life is intended to be left, no animals, no birds, no indigenous vegetation and where even the insects are poisoned.
Imagine that anti-hunters view hunters as murderers.
Imagine that, by the same measure, a field can only represent a wildlife holocaust.
Imagine this is where the food and clothes for most, including the anti-hunters, originates from.
Imagine that there are places which are even more irreparably damaged than fields. Places which lie deep under tons of concrete. Cities.
Imagine that principles are only principles when you are prepared to pay for them.
Imagine that you only see what a person really values when you strip the words away and look at where they are prepared to spend their hard-earned money.
Imagine that anti-hunters spend their hard-earned money on fields and cities.
Imagine the staggering hypocrisy of a person who elects to fund wildlife holocausts yet sees fit to criticize hunters.
Imagine challenging them to factually contradict the above position.
Imagine they can't.
Imagine the best they can do is insult.
We knew Theunis well. He had a degree in psychology and anthropology. He was an extremely intelligent man who understood people and the world. Out of fear of association, it would have troubled him immensely that confused hypocrites (who can't prove they are not) would have spoken well of him. The reversal of this position is that it is complimentary that they speak badly of him. He would have wanted it no other way. - Message from Botha's friends, directed to his detractors and to those who may not have had the privilege of knowing him.