Klaserie River Sands

Search called off for missing hunter after possible remains found in crocodiles


Written by Marietie Louw-Carstens, Netwerk24

The search for a South African hunter who went missing in Zimbabwe was officially called off on Friday.

Scott van Zyl

Scott van Zyl ©Netwerk24

Johannesburg – Scott van Zyl, 44, of SS Pro Safaris went missing without a trace a week prior while on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe.

Several companies such as the Heritage Protection Group (HOG), a crime prevention organisation, the South African Hunters’ Association, the defence force and the police in Limpopo and the police force in Zimbabwe searched for Van Zyl for a week.

Huge area

They found signs of him leading to the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe, Netwerk24 reports.

Ex Colonel Sakkie Louwrens of HPG said the Zimbabwean police shot dead two crocodiles on the banks of the Limpopo River on Thursday.

“We found what could possibly be human remains in them.”

The remains will be sent for DNA testing to see if it’s Van Zyl’s. “Until we have the results, we can confirm nothing.”

A statement by the search companies said that they did “everything possible to find Van Zyl and to establish what exactly had taken place”.

Several helicopters were used to try to find Van Zyl in the dense bush while trackers also searched a huge area.

Van Zyl and his pack of dogs left Marken in Limpopo and with the help of a tracker  from the Chikwaraka camp in Zimbabwe went on a hunting safari.

It seemed as if he and the tracker left the bakkie on the previous Friday and walked into the bush.  Van Zyl’s rifle and personal items  were found inside the bakkie.

Van Zyl and the tracker apparently then split up and went into different directions.

His dogs returned to the Chikwaraka camp later the same day but there wasn’t a trace of Van Zyl.

Nothing impossible

His backpack was found in a sandy area along the Limpopo River.

The search and rescue teams even used helicopters last week to distribute pamphlets with Van Zyl’s picture on it in an attempt to find him.  The pamphlets were also distributed among inhabitants of settlements.

They will remain in contact with these people and fishermen in case someone knows something.

A member of the search and rescue team said: “Until we have the results of the DNA tests, one will always wonder, but nothing is impossible”.

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