A professional South African hunter who mysteriously vanished last week is believed to have been killed by crocodiles on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe.
Scott van Zyl, 44, had gone on a hunting safari with his pack of dogs and a Zimbabwean tracker when he disappeared last Friday.
Mr van Zyl, who owns the SS Pro Safaris company that takes foreign clients on hunting trips, and his tracker later left the pickup truck they were in and walked into the bush in different directions.
The dogs returned to the camp later that day without Mr van Zyl, whose rifle and personal items were found inside the pickup truck.
Helicopters, trackers and divers scoured the area while search and rescue teams distributed pamphlets with Mr Van Zyl’s image on them in villages and to fishermen on the banks of the river.
Mr van Zyl’s tracks were later spotted leading to the banks of the river. Trackers then found his backpack nearby.
Sakkie Louwrens, who was involved in the search, said the police and nature conservation services had decided to shoot two Nile crocodiles in the area after suspecting that they may have been responsible for Mr van Zyl’s disappearance.
“We found what could possibly be human remains in them,” he said.
Forensic experts are currently testing whether the remains belong to Mr van Zyl, who has a wife and two children.
At least four people have been killed by crocodiles in Zimbabwe in the past month after heavy rains caused the reptiles to move away from rivers.
Villagers from Jotsholo village in Matabeleland North tracked down the crocodile and killed it with machetes before skinning it and recovering some of the boy’s body parts.
In November last year a 13 year old boy who was fishing to pay for his school fees was killed by a crocodile in southern Zimbabwe.
Owen Chianga and his friend, Liberty Ruzivo, 15, were attacked by two crocodiles while they were fishing in the Save River near the village of Birchenough Bridge.
Nile crocodiles typically feed on fish, antelope and zebra, which they snatch from the shallows and before engaging in a twirling, drowning method known as “the death roll”. agencies