South African Police Investigating Manslaughter of Croatian Hunter Pero Jelinić

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The police are investigating whether the weapon used in fatal hunting was legal and who was holding the rifle.

The South African police are still investigating the circumstances in which Croatian hunter Pero Jelinić (75) died while hunting lions at the Leeubosch Lodge a week ago. They are investigating who fired the fatal bullet, while the foreign media report on a statement by police spokeswoman Charlize van der Linden that the authorities had opened an involuntary manslaughter investigation, reports Večernji List on February 3, 2018.

Jelinić died after the hunters shot a lion and started hunting the second one. The spokeswoman said they were still investigating whether the weapon used for hunting was legal.

Đivo Ćurlica was together with Jelinić and his nephew when the tragedy occurred. His friend says that Ćurlica is still in South Africa and that he does not want to talk about the incident until he returns to Dubrovnik. However, on Monday, Ćurlica said that one of the rifles used by foreign hunters fired on its own and that it was an accident. The police are determining who held the rifle at the time when the bullet was fired.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said yesterday that they were providing all the necessary consular assistance to the family members of the Croatian victim and others who needed help. “The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in South Africa is in constant contact with family members and is at their disposal for further assistance,” said the Ministry.

According to one version of events, Jelinić was allegedly shot by a bullet from a rifle which he had just handed over to one of the Croatian hunters. He continued to walk and was suddenly hit by a bullet in his shoulder. The access to the website where Ćurlica, who was the secretary of the Croatian Safari Hunters Association, used to publish news about the safari in Africa has been discontinued.

The association president has declined to give a statement. The association was established in 2011 and its goal, as stated in the register, is to “protect and promote the freedom and the right to true hunting and nature protection,” promote hunting in Croatia, Africa and other destinations, exhibit trophies, and organise joint hunting trips and other activities.

At the South African farm, lions are bred for hunting, and Jelinić wanted to have one such trophy to mark the end of a long hunting career. His friend told Nova TV his last words before going to Africa: “If a lion eats me, they will send you at least my head. Bury it, eat a few lambs, remember Pero and end of story.”

Translated from Večernji List.


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