safari experts, since 1991
Book a call with a safari expertBook a call
Africa Geographic Travel
Gonarezhou elephant killed by hunter
The elephant in question. Picture sourced from social media, copyright owner unknown.

Another large-tusked elephant has been removed from the gene pool, this time by a Russian hunter in Zimbabwe. The giant elephant was collared for research purposes, a fact that the entire hunting party of seven people (including a government ranger and two trackers from the community with detailed knowledge of the area) claim not to have noticed at the time. This was “a genuine mistake due to a lack of communication” said the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association.

According to our sources the 14-day hunt was legal, taking place in a community-run conservancy called Naivasha bordering on Gonarezhou National Park in the remote south-east of Zimbabwe. The collared bull elephant made the fatal error of wandering across the unfenced boundary between the two pieces of land in February this year, and had been resident in the Naivasha area since then.

The hunt was managed by professional hunter Martin Pieters of Martin Pieters Safaris, a member of Safari Club International and, according to his website, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association (Editor: we have received information that he is no longer chairman).

The Frankfurt Zoological Society, who collared this and other elephants for research purposes, issued a carefully-worded statement about the incident, and noted that “There is no law that protects a collared animal from being hunted in Zimbabwe, but there is general acceptance that the ethical position is that a hunter will avoid shooting an animal with a collar.” They go on to say that “The data from this bull has been captured and will help us with our ongoing efforts to find solutions, together with our local and international partners, to conservation questions in a world where the challenges to find space for wildlife and their habitats are becoming ever more complicated.”


Statement from Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association
Statement from Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association

To comment on this story: Login (or sign up) to our app here - it's a troll-free safe place 🙂.


  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Browse our ready-made packages or answer a few questions to start planning your dream safari.
  • Subscribe to our FREE newsletter / download our FREE app to enjoy the following benefits.
  • Plan your safaris in remote parks protected by African Parks via our sister company - safari camps for responsible travellers

Subscribe to our newsletter and/or app
[wpforms id="152903"]
<div class="wpforms-container wpforms-container-full" id="wpforms-152903"><form id="wpforms-form-152903" class="wpforms-validate wpforms-form wpforms-ajax-form" data-formid="152903" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data" action="/stories/giant-elephant-killed-by-hunter-despite-research-collar" data-token="ef981ae733d21d6f12c6d94c1e8016a9"><noscript class="wpforms-error-noscript">Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.</noscript><div class="wpforms-field-container"><div id="wpforms-152903-field_1-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-email" data-field-id="1"><label class="wpforms-field-label wpforms-label-hide" for="wpforms-152903-field_1">Email Address <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="email" id="wpforms-152903-field_1" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][1]" placeholder="Email " required></div></div><div class="wpforms-submit-container"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[id]" value="152903"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[author]" value="223"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[post_id]" value="101069"><button type="submit" name="wpforms[submit]" id="wpforms-submit-152903" class="wpforms-submit" data-alt-text="Sending..." data-submit-text="Subscribe" aria-live="assertive" value="wpforms-submit">Subscribe</button><img src="" class="wpforms-submit-spinner" style="display: none;" width="26" height="26" alt="Loading"></div></form></div> <!-- .wpforms-container -->