Renowned trophy hunter shot dead and left on the side of the road in South Africa: police
Cecil the lion (Screenshot/YouTube)

According to Global News, a renowned trophy hunter who acted as a tour guide for others to help bring down large game has been found shot dead and left on the side of the road in South Africa.

"Riaan Naude, 55, was the owner and founder of Pro Hunt Africa, a tour group that facilitates paid wildlife hunting trips in the country’s northeastern province of Limpopo," reported Michelle Butterfield. "According to local reports, Naude was found dead next to his truck on June 8 near Kruger National Park. A Limpopo police representative told reporters that Naude was found lying on his back, with blood on his face and head."

According to the report, Naude was shot after his vehicle broke down and he pulled over to the side of the road, and "A nearby cattle herder reportedly heard the gunshot and witnessed a truck speeding away." It is unknown whether the motive was related to his trophy hunting practices.

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"A glance at Naude’s Instagram feed shows the hunter and others posing alongside large dead animals, including elephants and giraffes," noted the report. "Naude was charging his clients $350 per day to hunt game, $2,500 for a crocodile and $1,500 for a giraffe, according to Pro Hunt Africa’s price list."

Trophy hunting is a wildly controversial practice. It is legal in many countries, including South Africa, and some governments use it to cull sick or troublesome animals from vulnerable herds and raise tax revenue for conservation and anti-poaching enforcement. However, many trophy hunters go after endangered species, and African governments often sell permits to Western tourists without the consent or buy-in of native locals.

One of the more infamous trophy hunters is Donald Trump Jr., who on one occasion traveled to Mongolia to hunt endangered wild sheep, at $77,000 expense to U.S. taxpayers.