Last week, professional Zimbabwean big-game hunter Ian Gibson was trampled by a young bull elephant after spending 5 hours tracking it for an American hunting client.

The 55-year-old hunter, who worked with Chifuti Safaris, approached the elephant to measure its ivory when his client had stopped to rest. When he and his tracker, Robert, came within 50-100m of the elephant, it began to charge, as it was in an aggressive state called “musth.” Gibson fired off one shot before being killed, and the elephant survived. Read on for more of the story.

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Ian Gibson (55) spent 5 hours chasing a young elephant

The elephant was in “musth,” a highly aggressive state related to reproduction, so it turned and trampled him to death

Safari hunts like the one shown here by Chifuti Safaris net much-needed conservation funds, but at the cost of an elephant’s life

The hunting community called Gibson an avid conservationist, though some animal rights supporters celebrated the incident as a form of gruesome justice

Even professional hunters can’t always tell what a wild animal will do next!