Update On Zimbabwe


Published: August - 2004

The same day Fontana was killed a buffalo in Zimbabwe almost killed PH Howard Hunter of HHK Safaris. Seems Hunter and an unnamed client were following up on a wounded buffalo on the Lemco Concession when the animal burst out of thick brush in front of them. Hunter fired and hit the buffalo, we were told near press time, but the animal was so close Hunter had to grab it by the horns with both hands in an attempt to keep it from goring him. As he wrestled with the animal, a bullet fired either by an HHK tracker or the client penetrated the buffalo and struck Hunter in the arm.

We have all this directly from Graham Hingston of HHK, who told us Hunter's injuries were serious enough that he needed to be medivaced to Johannesburg. His chances of a full recovery are "excellent," however, Hingston told us. He said the mishap occurred on the last day of the client's safari. He declined to give us the client's name. As for the buffalo, it fell dead from the shot that hit Hunter's arm.

Somewhat unbelievably, the two aforementioned accidents are not the only injuries caused by buffalo so far this season. A third, extremely serious buffalo encounter has also felled Nicki Atcheson, wife of booking agent Keith Atcheson of Jack Atcheson & Sons. All that's known about the accident is, she was gored by a wounded buffalo while on safari in Zimbabwe in late June. The injuries included a broken arm, broken collar bone, internal bruising and a "massive" wound on the back of her upper right thigh. She is reported to have undergone five surgeries at a hospital in Johannesburg to reconstruct her thigh, apply skin grafts and repair her clavicle.

Keith Atcheson said he would release more details about the goring once he and his wife were completely through the ordeal. "I can tell you that I've never known a more incredible person in my life than Niki," he writes. "She is one of the toughest humans alive," Keith told The Hunting........(continued)

 
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