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Internet cheers after hunter Ian Gibson trampled by elephant he hoped to slay.

Ian Gibson trampled by elephant
How the death of one professional hunter resonated on social media.

Social media has erupted with a thudding boom after it was revealed that prominent professional game hunter Ian Gibson was trampled to death by an elephant he had hoped to slay. 

At the time of the man’s death, Gibson was leading a hunt in Chewore North in the lower Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe, when the bull elephant ‘began a full charge,’ reports huffpo.

In an online note on the website of his employers Safari Classics, the outlet said Gibson had been tracking the elephant for five hours with a client when they stopped for a rest.

Told the note: ‘Feeling he was quite close to the elephant, Ian and his tracker Robert continued to follow the tracks in hopes of getting a look at the ivory as the client stayed with the game scout.’

Gibson’s tracker indicated the elephant was in ‘musth’ – a condition where the animal’s urge to mate goes into overdrive and it becomes overly aggressive, but the professional game hunter continued.

Adds the note: ‘They eventually caught up with the bull, spotting him at about 50-100 metres. The bull instantly turned and began a full charge.

‘Ian and Robert began shouting in order to stop the charge. At very close range, Ian was able to get off one shot before the bull killed him. The scene was very graphic.’

It is not known if the animal was injured or killed in the incident.

Ian Gibson trampled by elephant

And then there were these sample responses from the web that caught my attention, see what you think?

I wonder if the elephant took the guy’s teeth for their value?

The number of elephants is half what it was a decade or so ago and are dwindling fast. I don’t respect “hunters” who pay extraordinary fees and hire professional trackers killing shrinking numbers of elephants, rhinos, lions etc. just to feed their egos.

Agriculture, not hunting, is the foremost cause of extinction world-wide as well as the single greatest source of greenhouse gas destined to alter our climate for centuries. While I have no sympathy for the deceased, I do wonder how many of his critics fail to understand their own roles in the ceaseless destruction of this planet. How many stand gazing out upon endless fields of exotics grown purely for human benefit, with their hands on their hips, wondering where all of the wildlife went, and then blame the hunter? How many fly to Africa on “harmless” photography safaris without ever considering the impact of such self-indulgent behavior?

I have zero sympathy for this hunter. I react to this the very same way I do when I see a bull fighter get mangled. BRAVO.

above image found here



  1. Then explain it to me. Which religion values the life of an elephant over a man? Which religion has no room for compassion towards family and friends who lose somebody? Which religion celebrates the violent death of a man based on a one sided article. Which blood-thirsty, vengeful god do you believe in?

  2. Hi,
    I can separate the person (sad loss for his friends and relatives I can feel empathy for) from the actions of the person (hunting, for me, is really not the way to go, and this person was a hunter). If others cannot do that, their take, not mine. I found a post by Ian Lewis like you said, and I reacted there. Peace to you as well.

  3. Some facts:
    1. Conservation (eco lodges and tourism) brings in in more money than hunters.
    2. I pay those lodges to SEE those animals. If hunters KILL them, I can’t see them. Eco lodges and hunting lodges CANNOT coexist.
    3. Lots of those hunts are canned hunting (like in S Africa). Animals are half-wild. Lots of those hunts are, in other words, zoo hunts that have nothing to do with wildlife or conservation,…True hunting paves the way for canned hunting. I actually have less problems with canned hunting from a wild population perspective, but more from an ethical perspective.
    4. Maybe this wasn’t a canned hunting from what I read where the circumstances, but hunting as a practice by white men in black Africa encourages locals and poachers to hunt / poach. why shouldn’t they, as those white men can take over the land and do it? Why can’t a poacher poach? If white men can take an elephant down for fun, why can’t they to make some money from the ivory?
    5. Hunters do not base quota on any scientific data. Hunters’ quota are invariably higher than they should based on data.
    6. Hunters hunt everything. Just check their webpages and Facebook. They create overpopulation of certain species themselves, by killing predators. They shoot lions and leopard and Ian Lewis complains about overpopulation of ungulates and large grazers? Get a grip.
    Hunters don’t have the balls to actually spend their money without shooting. They still need to kill animals to feel good about their safari. They have to have something at home hanging at the wall. They cannot show up in their redneck hunting club in the USA telling they enjoyed watching wildlife. That is the ethical part of the story.
    7. Hunters have more land for hunting than there is land for national parks in Southern Africa. This means that a small number of hunters with loads of money take over a lot of land for having some fun and shooting some animals, while local people and the big mass of tourists are confined to the rest of the land. Talk about neocolonialism.
    8. Hunters go after the big animals. They deteriorate the gene pool and experience of e.g. a group of elephants or lions by killing those animals that have most experience / best genes. They NEVER ever take into account that those animals have group dynamics that are heavily disturbed by a kill of one animal, often having a very negative impact on the whole group.
    9. The legal trade in animal parts (through hunting) and illegal trade (through poaching) are mixed and not split. The legal trade actually serves as an excuse to cover the illegal trade. This is just the same as e.g. the trade in certified wood and illegally cut woord.

    I have been in Africa, many times, and I can back up my words with facts if you really care.

    My condolescenses to the family of mr Gibson.

  4. One last thing, if you want to know a little bit about the guy and what he did for conservation and protection of these animals, scroll down and read the comments by “Ian Lewis”. Mr Lewis knew Gibson and worked with him in Africa.

  5. Look, I get the overwhelming sense of poetic justice in this story. “Animal kills hunter” is the entire story to most people. I didn’t know the guy, I just saw the story and found the the way he died horrifying and the comments from “animal lovers” incredibly disturbing.

    The good things I read have since been buried by the story of his death. I can’t even locate them anymore. The guy had family and friends that were grieving his loss and this absolute shit storm of hatred was raining down . Even if he deserved the hatred his friends and family did not and they were the ones left to read it.

    I looked deeper into who the man was and found no reason to celebrate his death. It’s a terrible story that took on a life of its own. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, I’m done talking about it .

    Peace out.

  6. That’s a bold statement to state this guy did more… I am sure there are many conservationists around here. Admittedly, they don’t come out well if dancing on the grave of just anyone, but still a bold statement.

  7. I’m not trying to defend all hunters, I’m saying this guy did more for the preservation of animals than any of the people here dancing on his grave.

  8. You didn’t answer my question. You veer around it by claiming hunters are on the forefront of conservation, but failing to understand they hunting lodges not have any unique talent for conservation compared to e.g. safari lodges. Poachers are the real treat for animal extinction, that far we can agree. But hunters give the wrong example and they are effectively killing wild animals (if not canned hunting) for their pleasure, giving the wrong example for local communities and poachers alike (who often come from local communities, and feel they have every reason to poach animals if hunters shoot those animals as well!).

  9. Conservation isn’t that simple. It’s war. It takes guns and money and manpower to protect animals. There are poachers armed with more than cameras who will kill every animal the can find. There people on the front lines, putting their lives at risk for these animals. The hunters are at odds with the poachers and they have the motivation to get out there and help stop the slaughter. Are they the ideal? Of course not, but they are out there willing to put their lives at risk to help.

    I read about this guy and he isn’t part of the problem. He was an activist who was well respected and well liked. Is it so hard to give a man the benefit of the doubt?

  10. I spend my hard-earned money on safaris all around the world without killing anything. That’s the way conservation works. Not by killing stuff, be it an elephant, a deer,… I do make exceptions for sandflies, leeches and mosquitos though!

    What do you do to make conservation work, except for defending people that make their living by killing wild animals for fun?

  11. Just what do you think hunters do?

    How about the people who kill animals to bring food to your table. Are you a vegan or just intellectually dishonest?

  12. Then don’t be convinced. I don’t care to convince people who wear their closed mindedness as a badge of honor.

    This elephant was hardly defenseless if you read the story.

  13. Ok, if I’m so wrong why don’t you educate me? I’m here, I’m listening.

    Don’t just talk smack, back it up.

  14. Defending a fellow human being from short sighted people who condemn somebody without knowing the story. The guy died a horrible death and these cold blooded keyboard activists think they’re accomplishing something by dancing on his grave.

    If people are so passionate about it, they need people in Africa. There’s flights leaving all the time.

  15. for someone who is not hunter, you sure waste a lot of energy trying to defend them on the internet.

  16. i am sorry, but both groups kill animals. so, he did not do it for the ivory. do you think that makes a difference to the animal who gets shot? come on, use your head.

  17. there is nothing that you can say that will convince any of us that this guy did not deserve what he got. guys who hunt are impotent little men who need to kill defenseless animals to feel better about the fact that they have small pee pees.

  18. all hunters deserve to be treated the way that they have treated their prey. i do not feel the slightest bit sorry for this guy.

  19. …Says the one celebrating the horrific death of a fellow human being. Your lust for human life is chilling.

  20. Not a single living creature should be “hunted” simply to satisfy pain inflicting enthusiasts. You all need to hunted. HUNTERS ARE DERANGED!

  21. Like I said. You people are psychotic. Your delusional comment attests to that., You all need to be locked up in a mental institution. Yikes!

  22. They’re in the wild. Let them fend for themselves. Drought or not….God did not tell you mental individuals to take it upon yourself to butcher them.

  23. Did they show respect for the animals he butchered? He did not earn respect with most of the planet. They’ll have to deal with it.

  24. Hey, you may have a point. Conservation of the Wild animals by ridding the planet of hunters, huummm

  25. He is gone and I’m lighting candles so that, every hunter gets eaten alive or trampled. That’s what I call justice. There’s million wanting for the same to happen. We will cause it to happen. Animals will charge those deranged individuals!

  26. He can rot in hell. Now, let’s wish it will happen to each and everyone of them. They’re useless to our planet anyway.

  27. Now, let’s wish it will happen to each and everyone of them. They’re useless to our planet anyway.

  28. I am glad he is dead. Big game hunters know the risk and it’s a good and natural that some should die in the process. It’s good for their image, keeps up the impression of balanced conservation.

  29. Do you really think the guys who run the reserve would leave a carcass to rot? The ivory trade is illegal.

  30. There is a HUGE difference between killing an elephant and a deer. More than likely a deer hunter will consume the deer meat. You think this bozo was going to eat this elephant?? Sorry no sympathy for this guy and you are really stupid if you think they would have left the entire carcass to rot. They certainly would have taken the ivory!!

  31. hippies hahahahaha the standard canned response how’s about liberals commies and what ever. No this guy succumbed to Darwinism at it’s best and took himself out of the gene pool 🙂

  32. No not the death penalty; just have it outlawed lets have a little incremental set of salami slicing laws starting with the ban on trophy imports then perhaps a ban on company sponsorship then a few bans on TV and social media until these people get the idea that not everyone is as crazy about their hobby as they are

  33. The reason that large mammals are in such a parlous state is because out of control hunting over the last 150 years long before poaching came along. Hunting did this and no matter if there are permits and it’s legal blah blah blah it is still adding to the problem. So if you ain’t part of the solution you are part of the problem 😀

  34. There are some sick MF’ers on this thread. You know you can be an animal lover without the vindictiveness and bloodlust for a man you people don’t know thing one about. At least do a little research on the man first before you condemn him.

    This story is tragic any way you look at it. Some here think he was s horrible person but those leaving comments that they’re happy he got trampled are proving they’re horrible people too.

  35. The death penalty for legal hunting? Pretty radical, I don’t know if it would pass.

    You can dance on this “fat fuck”‘s grave if it helps you feel good about yourself, but the fact remains that despite being a hunter, this guy was on the front lines stopping poachers and preserving the species. I know, I know, he was going to kill an elephant so that makes him an evil monster and he deserved to die in a grisly and painful way. And he did, good job!

    I hope you’re passionate enough to go to Africa and take his place.

  36. excuse me: whether it is for ivory or sport, the elephants end up DEAD. Gibson got what he deserved, and now he’s DEAD.

  37. What do TRUE conservationists do then? I think you have got conservationists who promote the survival of the species over the individual confused with crazy ass protectionists who do not realise that you can not save them all! Someone has to pay the bills and last time I hecked it was not you or your cronies. If you all feel so strongly, why not club together and do like Paul Newman did in Botswana – go buy the hunting concessions to stop the killing – protect them all. Oh, and while you are at it, pop over to Bots and have a look at the state of those concessions now just tn years latter – over population by elephants caused mass deforestationa nd where used to be very bio diverse and hold over 2000 head of elephant along woth thousands of other smaller critters is no just an extension of the Kalahari desert, bereft of all life. Ever seen an elephant die over several weeks due to drought and starvation – it is not such a nice way to go. You people have to stop being such delusional and emotional idealists and realise the world is not so perfect any more. Wildlife is now confined to managed and restricted areas where populations have to be controlled to stop mass ecological collapse as Mr Newman found out. Just a thought.

  38. Killing is killing? Then this elephant needs to be put down for killing this guy, right?

    African Elephants aren’t actually “endangered” btw. Ironically it’s the hunting industry and people like the deceased that play a large role in that? Preservation takes cash.

    I feel worse about the animals confined in zoos around the world or the treatment of “circus elephants” . Hell, in Thailand I paid to ride thru the jungle on an elephant and the handler got his attention by popping him with a ballpeen hammer. I’ll never do that again. The daily mistreatment of these animals for commercial purposes upsets me more than than one animal living it’s life in the wild.

    I wish all this would stop but I understand the way it works.

  39. Conservation is preservation of the species, not every individual animal. There are many ways to do it.

    Seriously, if you really care about this, educate yourself on the subject. You’re already online do some research.

  40. for one thing he was doing his job and another nothing is wasted from these hunts plus the meat feeds a lot of people there and provides the villages with income

  41. Hey, can I conserve your life by killing you? You’ll agree to that right? Didn’t think so, tool.

  42. You hippies make me sick! If you’re okay with his death then don’t ever protest against capital punishment.

  43. His life long goal was to kill animals? You act like hunters like to torture animals before they kill them. It’s almost always one shot, one kill. It’s quick, so there’s no doubt your wish of pain easily exceeded any of the animals he took.

    Hunters want sustainability, they absolutely are conservationists. Without a heathy population of animals there is no hunting. Do know what poachers are? The damage they do? It takes people on the front lines defending their territory or their would be nothing left.

    Are you ready to go to Africa and defend these animals from the poachers? I didn’t think so. I’m not willing to either. This hunter, Ian, he was and now he’s gone.

  44. The elephant was in an aggressive state and it would have charged you or me even if all we had was a camera.

    Like the guy said above, you go spend 35 years on the ground in Africa fending off poachers. Seriously, If you’re so passionate in your views and convinced that people like Ian are sick and deserve to die in a bloody trampled mess, then go do something about it! Go devote your life to that cause. Rid the world of people like Ian so the poachers can wipe out the species in six months. Death penalty for legal hunters!

    Where do draw the line, do deer hunters deserve death? How about dove hunters? Squirrel hunters? They must be sick too. Kill ’em all!

  45. No matter what you say about him or what he did for the rights of African Animals, killing is killing, especially when these magnificent creatures are Endangered!!!

  46. Really, serious, then put hunters unarmed in an arena and see who is the smarter??? Trophy hunters are sick people!!!

  47. iI am over the moon, this is such a low life pig, he got just what he deserved, no tears here, Hunters need to be HUNTED!!!!

  48. bullsh$t…true conservationists don’t spend their careers slaughtering defenseless animals…this guy got what he deserved and the only offspring i feel sorry for are the orphaned animals this person created in the name of sport

  49. bullsh$t…what makes you a dick is using the word conservation in the same sentence as a hunter whose life-long goal it was to kill animals…defenseless animals…good guys don’t kill animals for sport and this coward, because that’s what hunters are, got exactly what he deserved…i can only hope it was half as painful as the horror this person perpetrated on the animal community in his ignominious career…it took four billion years to create earth and humans have destroyed it in 200

  50. I’m not happy about his death. However, elephants are endangered species and should not be hunted. PERIOD.

  51. There’s always more to these stories than people care to know. Hunters are not poachers. Poachers do deserve the hate that people are expressing and more. The internet hatred is misplaced as usual.

  52. Well Said. I did know Ian – very well and he was a consummate conservationist. from teenage years working for National parks on anti poaching patrols to later life as a hunter – being the boots on the ground (and damn hard ground to cover Chewore is!) He was out there day in day out for over 35 years – yes with a gun – and that made him and his colleagues one hell of a deterrent to any poachers thinking about crossing over the river from Zambia (and even the home grown Zimbabwean lot – sadly we are not immune to corruption either). Ian,s passing is a great loss to actual one the ground doing something conservation. He was single handedly responsible, via his regulated and legal hunting quotas, for the generation of I would guess up to half a million US dollars of revenue that was used to guard these areas EVERY YEAR. Not many folks can claim that legacy. Please show a little more respect for his grieving family – they are alive and can see this. you are not causing Ian any hurt now, just his children. Just because you have a right to free speech does not mean you should shed your common decency and be so incredibly callus. Most of you are armed with no actual facts of any practical experience of Africa or hunting anyway.

  53. I’m sure his friends and family would disagree. This man was a professional guide and hunter in Africa. He hunted legally, he was not a poacher. He wasn’t killing this animal for its ivory. The ivory trade is completely illegal. While I didn’t know him, hunting aside, he sounds like a good guy and he died tragically and violently in a way I’d never wish on anyone. So to take the time to dance on the grave of a man who was not part of the real problem of animal conservation and did more for preserving the future of these animals than any of the knee jerk reactionary crowd online, I ask why? What’s the point? You hate hunting? That’s your right, I’m not a big fan of it either, but taking the time to write something like this doesn’t make you a friend of animal rights, it kinda just makes you a dick.

  54. Hope the elephant is ok! How did the Hunters feel being on the receiving end? I agree no sympathy here for this disgusting man killing an innocent animal for the Ivory, most likely would have left the rest of the innocent animal rotting on the ground.

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