Zim PH killed by buffalo
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Friends - I am sorry to bring you sad news from Zimbabwe. Owain Lewis, long time PH with Chifuti Safaris, was killed by a wounded buffalo this morning. We have lost a great man and dear friend.
The account relayed to me was that Owain, an Appy, and the client were following up a wounded buffalo for the third day. The buffalo charged out of nowhere, knocking the Appy into the client both went flying and both lost rifles in the melee. The buffalo then charged Owain, hooked him and tossed him, breaking his neck. The Appy and the client then shot the buffalo off of Owain, but it was too late. I was told all the PHs and trackers in the Zambezi Valley stopped hunting and travelled to the site in Cherwore North to stay with the body until it was removed to Harare a classy tribute from his colleagues for sure.
Buzz Charlton's tracker (Criton) was injured by a wounded elephant last week and remains hospitalized.
Also read a French PH was killed in Cameroon by a buffalo.
Gives you pause for thought.
Very tough season.
Sad news, thanks for passing this along Mike.
Quiet ye'all, please, there be a fine man passing, to be sure...
amen to that
Originally Posted by DOCMAN
Owain Lewis was a great man and I will sorely miss him as will countless others. He was a legend in the Valley and just an extraordiary person. I personally spent 14 days of my life with him hunting in the Valley and I'll treasure them forever. His friendship, stories and memory will live with me forever.
Rest in peace Owain and enjoy the happy hunting grounds.
My favorite picture of Owain and I together building a memories.
With the life off a dangerous game PH come the many priveliges off hunting in Gods country and experienceing Africa,but with it comes all the dangers off being killed by nature.
Salute those who put their life on the line for clients and comrads!We think off each and every one who loses a husband,tracker ex in the line off duty.
Be save in what you do every day,we think off all the fallen heros!
Africa take back many times a season,we just do not hear off it every day.
With the dangers hidden in the African bush,hunting will always be part off us and it will allways be give and take.
A True Gentleman
My wife Ann and I received the news from Owain's wife Robbie this morning as we went to church. What a lose to all of us. We hunted with Owain last year on our first safari. When we arrived in Harare for the flight out to camp, Andy Pugh described Owain as a true gentleman. He was that and much, much more. In ten days he became a friend. We were fortunate to see Owain and Robbie at the DSC convention this past January. His smile and wonderful spirit touched us deeply.
Welcome to AH.
The passing of another PH is a great loss to the PH's of Zimbabwe and the hunting community.
Which takes us to the subject of you just never know when the end will come...
Owain will be missed in the Zim PH community. He was a good man. Our sincere condolences to his family.
Tragic news. My sympathy and condolences go out to his family and friends.
Hopefully, this will give all of that use the services of these outstanding PH's, reason to pause and reflect on the seriousness of this, the hunt for DG. These men, PH and trackers alike, put their lives on the line for us each and every time they go out. A lot of times, for complete strangers they have just met. We that make these trips, and put them and us in harms way, have an obligation to be prepared. We have an obligation to practice enough to be proficient with the firearm of our choice, to minimize this type of occurrence. I'm not insinuating the hunter in this case was at fault, other than being the one that "pulled the trigger" initially to start this chain of events. Chances are, a well placed first shot would have prevented this tragedy. Sad situations like this can and should, be a learning lesson for us all.
Very sad news ! My prayers to family and friends.
Sad day for all, prayers for the family and all involved. I remember just a month ago watching the ph's getting ready for my buddies Cape hunt. They all talked about more folks are killed or injured by the cape each year than all others combined.
A few clips i found
By Peta Thornycroft, Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg
2:45PM BST 11 Jun 2012
Owain Lewis, 67, had been tracking the animal for three days to finish it off after it was shot and injured by a visiting American hunter he was escorting.
Paul Smith, the owner of Chifuti Safaris in the lower Zambezi Valley, said Mr Lewis was "very tough and experienced" but had been caught unawares when the buffalo charged from the undergrowth and tossed him in the air.
"It turned on him and attacked him and unfortunately the apprentice hunter with him could not shoot the animal as Owen's body was in the way," he said.
"It was a very tough fight. Owain's neck was broken but the apprentice did manage to kill the buffalo.
"We are very shocked. This is the first time we have had an incident like this.
"We have had so many messages of support from people who hunted with Owen.
It is a tragedy."
One of the people who hunted with Mr Lewis, Alan Bunn, posted on a message board that he was "a man who had probably forgotten more about Africa and hunting than any of the younger professional hunters will ever learn".
"He was a kind soul who worked hard and always carried with him the very best of attitudes," he wrote.
Mr Lewis is understood to have adult children, who were travelling to Zimbabwe from their homes in the United States and New Zealand for a funeral on Friday.
He previously ran his own ranch in the Chegutu district of central Zimbabwe but it was seized by Zanu PF supporters in 2001.
The Cape Buffalo is one of African safaris' prized Big Five and one of the most dangerous animals in the world, also known as "The Widow-maker". It can grow up to 1.7 metres in height and 3.4 metres in length, and weigh as much as 910kg.
For anybody who is interested. Dave Fulson produces "Tracks Across Africa".
As you have probably read from my previous posts on the Loss Of Owain Lewis, Chifuti Safaris, Safari Classics, the brotherhood of Professional Hunters everywhere, and a legion of friends and clients have suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of this fine man. Owain was a man of GOD, a gentleman of the kind we see far too few of, a father to be emulated, and a true professional in his chosen field. Yet it was his role of husband that, in my opinion, he showed the most exceptional qualities. Seeing Robbie and Owain Lewis together as man and wife had a deep impact on me. The bond they so quietly shared made me think " Thats what marriage really is, and considering my own upcoming marriage, it made me understand that it was this kind of partnership I want to have in my own relationship. By just being who they are, they lead by example, and all who know them understand exactly what I am talking about.
The members of this forum are in large part experienced safari veterans, who understand that the life of a professional hunter is one of financial challenge. There are no retirement funds, 401 K's, or pensions. You earn your money one daily rate at a time, and life insurance in most cases is impractical, if not impossible. Owain was the sole bread winner of the Lewis family, and besides the bottomless emotional hole his passing has left in his wife's heart, there are financial considerations that will soon become a focus. Everyday life in Zimbabwe is difficult on women, especially on women who marry hunters, but when a tragedy of this scale strikes, the difficulty is compounded beyond words. Owain touched so many lives during his life and career, and so many have called to ask " How can we help and honor this fine man?" If I know Owain, and I do, his final thoughts were not focused on the buffalo, his physical pain, or personal fear.. they were on what happens to my wife if I do not survive this fight? Those that know the man will back me on this. Owain is gone from us today, a fact that still seems all to unreal to totally grasp. But life will go on for Robbie, and we are trying to help in this difficult time by easing some of the financial hardships that are coming.
To do so we have created the OWAIN LEWIS MEMORIAL FUND , of which all proceeds will go directly to Owain's dear wife Robbie. You may send a check directly to our office in Dallas, or wire a donation.
Here is our mailing address:
Safari Classics Productions LLC
OWAIN LEWIS MEMORIAL FUND
5206 McKinney Ave, ste 101
If you wish to wire a donation, please follow the following wiring instructions:
Acct name SAFARI CLASSICS PRODUCTIONS LLC
OWAIN LEWIS MEMORIAL FUND
( It MUST say OWAIN Lewis MEMORIAL FUND)
Acct name 1440000453610
address 5206McKinney Ave,ste 101
Dallas, Tx 75205
Routing Number 111017694
BB&T SWIFT CODE BRBTUS33
Branch Address BB&T BANK
717 N.Harwood Ste,100
Dallas , Tx 75201
The international hunting community is full of good people, all of who realize the danger and personal risk Professional Hunters face in their careers, all in the name of helping folks like us enjoy our few Golden Days in the bush. Owain gave his life to protect others, as his creedo demands. Please send prayers to Heaven for him, and if you are moved to do so, some financial aid to this sweet and Godly woman as she will need our help until one great day when Owain once again wraps her in those big arms and they begin their eternal lives, once again together.
For the entire Chifuti and Safari Classics family, Thank You and God Bless.
From another forum by Aaron Neilson who also post here.
SOME INFO FROM ZIM - I am currently in camp with Mr. Owain's clients, they arrived about 6 days ago or so. To say I know Mr. Owain well would be a gross over-statement, but over the past 6-7 days I did chat with him numerous times around the fire. He was a TRUE gentleman of the first order for sure!!!!!
Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm, Ian Gibson (My PH) ran to my room and yelled to me that he thought Owain had just been killed by the wounded buff, and we need to get there now. So, I grabbed the .600NE, my bullet belt, jacket and head-lamp, and was off like a shot.
Mr. Owain's clients were all first-time African hunters - a father and two sons. The father hunting buff, the sons - plains game. The father wounded the buff on day one, they all followed again on day 2, but on day 3 only one of the son's could continue, as the father was done for, and one of the son's got sick.
Ian and I arrived at the scene at 5:30pm, Mr. Owain lay only 8 feet from the buffalo bull. I can assure you, the wounds were severe and he did not suffer at all. As only the apprentice and young client were there, Ian wanted to get there asap. Problem was, we were now 2.5 miles from the closest road, dark was just minutes away, and I honestly have NEVER gone over and through such rough/rugged/nasty country to get to the scene. How this bull got there in the first place is beyond me?
So now, we had little choice but to build a fire, and spend the night right there. Leaving the body un-protected was not an option, and getting out of their in the dark, was gonna be impossible anyway. A cold night it was, as I gave the Apprentice my jacket, so Ian and I had just shorts and short sleeve shirts.
At 7:30am the following morning, PH's Pete Barnard & Rex Hoots, my cameraman - Renz, and a bunch of the road crew arrived. Since Renz and I had the most medical experience (I was certified EMT long ago) we fastened a pole carry, as getting a vehicle more than 100 meters off the road was impossible. Renz really took control of the scene, doing an EXCELLENT job! So, as the PH's found a better path to the road, and cut bush, Renz & I, along with various rotations of guys in the back, carried Mr. Owain's body the 2.5 kms to the closest place a road/vehicle could get.
Seeing the scene first-hand, I can assure you - Mr. Owain did his job correctly, and bravely! Owain and the Appie spotted the bull lying down just 20 yards in front of them, and started shooting! It got up, went 10 yards left into another small opening, and they shot some more. By then, they were out of ammo and the bull decided to come. The appie was bumped and rolled to the side, the client was getting out of the way, trip and fell, then ran about 15 yards away, as he was reloading his gun. It was obvious that Mr. Owain was out of ammo, as his gun was empty on the ground. But, like any good PH should do - he bravely stood his ground, tried quickly to reload, but could not in time. He kept the bull's attention, and the other's were able to get out of harm's way, he died saving their lives for sure. Finally the client, shot the bull 3 more times, and it died with Owain's arm lying underneath its head.
From what I was told, and the scene I could see - bad luck was obviously a culprit. The bush was thick, the bull did not come immediately while they were still loaded, and the volley of shots prior to, did not put him down.
A huge reminder of what a truly dangerous game we play, and the PH - what a dangerous life he leads!! As I write this, 2 other Chifuti PH's are following another wounded buff right now. And to Mr. Owain's family - my condolences, he was a very nice man.
Global Hunting Resources
Global Hunting Resources
All I can think to say to Aaron's report is....wow.
Very tragic and sobering experience. Owain was very respected in the PH community. Terrible for all involved including the clients. A friend of mine and his PH were hit by a wounded buffalo last year. He is feeling very lucky today.