Shortly after shooting and killing a wild buffalo, South African hunter Claude Kleynhans was killed by a member of the same herd, just as he was about to load the carcass of the first buffalo onto his vehicle.
According to South African publication The Citizen, the incident happened last Tuesday, May 22, not long after Kleynhans and his hunting party had killed a buffalo on the banks of the Levubu River. His ex-wife, Corina van der Merwe, related to the publication that the hunters were preparing to load Kleynhans’ vehicle and were about to clear the bush surrounding the buffalo carcass when a second buffalo attacked the 54-year-old professional hunter, hitting a femoral artery, and killing him almost instantly.
Prior to becoming a professional hunter, Claude Kleynhans had served on the police force, The Citizen added. He was also described as a devout Christian who “understood conservation as well as trophy hunting” and was survived by his three children, including two daughters and a son, his father, and his four siblings when he was killed last Tuesday.
Despite how Kleynhans was described by South African press as an “ethical” hunter who also cared about conservation, the Daily Mail wrote that several social media users were able to track down his public Facebook account and post hateful messages that suggested the hunter’s recent death was karma for killing innocent animals.
As noted by the Daily Mail, one user reportedly accused Claude Kleynhans of being a “poacher,” adding that she finds satisfaction whenever poachers get killed by the animals that they hunt. The woman added that she hopes Kleynhans “doesn’t [rest in peace],” and that he is a “useless, sick-minded coward” who should rot in hell for killing several animals as a professional hunter. Another user took aim at Kleynhans’ family, calling them “losers,” and adding that Claude “deserved everything he got.”
Apart from the attacks on Claude Kleynhans’ Facebook page, the late hunter was also the subject of negative social media comments on the Justice for Cecil the Lion Facebook page, a tribute page to a lion killed in 2015 by American hunter Walter Palmer. On Saturday, the administrators shared a report on Kleynhans’ death with the following caption.
“The animals are fighting back. No sympathy here.”
Likewise, many users simply suggested that Claude Kleynhans’ death was an example of karma, with one woman saying that it was a shame the other “poachers” in the hunting trip didn’t get killed. Other users expressed sympathy for Kleynhans’ children while adding they didn’t feel sad for Claude, while a few questioned how someone could be an “ethical hunter” if they still display hunting trophies in their homes.