PH Erwin Kotze Killed by Desert Elephant in Namibia


Published: June - 2013

I am sad to report that young Professional Hunter Erwin Kotze has been killed by an elephant in Namibia. The incident occurred on April 23 in northwestern Namibia while Kotze was guiding a client. He was 27 years old. The May issue of The Hunting Report had already gone to print, but we broke the news to Email Extra subscribers in an April 26 Email Bulletin.

Kotze was a PH for Peter Thormahlen of Thormahlen & Cochran Safaris. He was on a desert elephant hunt in Thormahlen's Kaokoland concession, the Orupupa Conservancy, which shares a 40-kilometer border with the northwestern side of Etosha National Park. Thormahlen told me that Kotze, a second guide, Carel Alberts, and a client had tracked a bull all morning. After a lunch break, they took the hunting car to see if the bull had crossed the road. It had and Alberts climbed up a hill to see if he could spot the bull. In the meantime, Kotze and the trackers proceeded to follow-up the tracks. The client stayed in the car resting and waiting for them to confirm the bull's location. On the way back to the car, Alberts heard a tracker calling frantically over the radio to come help because the bull had trampled Kotze.

Alberts found Kotze conscious and lying under a Mopani tree. He says Kotze told him he had found the bull sleeping in the shade, and he approached him downwind. The wind turned, and the bull suddenly charged. "He had no chance to react," Thormahlen says.

Alberts carried Kotze to the hunting car and used a satellite phone to call for help. Thormahlen was in Windhoek at the time and able to get a medivac plane out soon after the call. Although Alberts rushed Kotze to the closest airstrip in Kamanjab, he died in the vehicle within an hour of his attack. Paramedics declared him dead when they landed. The post mortem examination found severe trauma and ruled that Kotze died of internal bleeding.

Thormahlen says that desert elephant........(continued)

 
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