Hunting African lions has been in the spotlight this year with the killing of Cecil the lion outside a game park in Zimbabwe. 

However controversial, hunting these dangerous animals was never deemed easy. One horrific case shows just how deadly hunting lions in Africa can be.  

A 24-year-old hunter who was pursuing a lion unlawfully in a private game park in South Africa was mauled to death along with his two dogs. Though tragic, the death of Matome Mahlale was seen by some as poetic justice for the hundreds of African lions killed each year.

The man was apparently hunting with five others who also used dogs to track the lions, according to the local police. When the men were chased by a lion they fled up a tree. It’s unclear why nobody was able to get off a shot. 

“Three men managed to climb into a tree and another managed to escape, but the deceased and two dogs were mauled,” Limpopo police spokesman Colonel Ronel Otto told IOL News.

In another controversial big game hunt earlier this year, reality television personality Rebecca Francis was criticized for shooting a giraffe.