African buffalo
© Rex
African buffalo can weigh up to 1,000 kg

A big game hunter was reportedly gored to death by a wild buffalo moments after he had killed another member of its herd.

Professional hunter Claude Kleynhans had been leading a group on an expedition along the banks of South Africa's Levubu River in the northern province of Limpopo.

The 54-year-old and his party had shot and killed a buffalo and were preparing to load it into their vehicle when they were blindsided by another member of the herd, the Bosveld Review reported.

Another guide ran back to the hunting lodge to seek help, but the animal's horn reportedly pierced Mr Kleynhans' femoral artery - killing him almost instantly.

"They were working on the bushes to open the animal and did not see the other buffalo," Karen Kuhne Kleynhans, the hunter's sister-in-law, told Afrikaans-language news site Maroela Media. "The buffalo struck him and pronged him with its horn in his groin."

Ms Kuhne Kleynhans added that the buffalo had been her brother-in-law's favourite animal.

"He loved what he did," she said. "He died doing what he loved."

African buffalo can weigh as much as 1,000kg (157 stone) and some have estimated that they kill up to 200 people each year.

Mr Kleynhans grew up in the small town of Modjadjiskloof and served as a police officer before becoming a professional hunter.

He founded his business, Guwela Safaris, in 1987, offering hunting, fishing and photography tours of Kruger National Park and the adjoining game reserve.

The firm's brochure states Mr Kleynhans was "reputable and honest" and "one of the best experienced guides in the industry."

It added he was "respected internationally" for his "above average hunting ethics and professionalism".

In January, a trophy hunter was shot dead as he stalked a lion he was aiming to kill in South Africa's North West province.


Pero Jelenic, a 75-year-old hotelier from Croatia, had already killed one big cat on a reserve when he was hit by gunfire.

Investigators were treating the case as culpable homicide, but said it had not been clear who had fired the shot that killed Mr Jelenic.