In memoriam - Professional Hunter Don Heath passes away

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Famous Zimbabwean Professional Hunter Don Heath (1967 - 2015) passed away suddenly over the weekend in Sweden. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.



    don-heath.jpg
    About Don Heath
    Don joined the Zimbabwe National Parks Department on leaving school, eventually rising to the post of Senior Ecologist responsible for safari hunting and guota setting. Of course, being the government officer on the ground meant that rogue elephants and man eating lions were also his responsibility. Don planned and organized the last big elephant culls (1993) and participated in the buffalo eradication culls, organized by the veterinary department. He has personally dissected more than 2000 elephants within the framework of a bullet testing project. His doctorate focused on the sustainable hunting of four key species by Zimbabwe’s hunting industry - elephant, buffalo, sable and impala. He started examining prospective professional hunters in 1996. Since retiring from National Parks in 1998 Don has worked as a freelance professional hunter and a full-time writer, as well as taking over the position of Chief Examiner for the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association.

     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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  2. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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  3. Wheels

    Wheels AH Legend

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    Thoughts and prayers for the family.
     

  4. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    rest in peace.
     

  5. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Rest in peace Don. Prayers being said for family and friends.
     

  6. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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  7. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH Legend

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    A great loss.
    My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
    Witold
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Amazing amount of knowledge and experience.

    Sad loss.





    Dr Don Heath D.Sc.
    Manager Technical Support
    Norma Precision AB

    On the losing side in 5 wars.

    I was Born in Rhodesia and managed to miss most of the bush war except for being blown up in a landmine and getting a chunk from an RPG 7 stuck through my skull into my brain. The 'Dissident' war that opened up 9 months After Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe (December 1980) was my first 'real war'. There were no winners, only a debate over who lost the most. I was shot at by the North Korean troops propping up the Mugabe regime, and the South African backed 'dissidents' as well as sundry bandits taking advantage of the general lawlessness to make a quick profit. I was mainly working on a Rabies outbreak at the time and this involved working in isolated rural areas usually with only a single companion. Being white, and driving a Government marked vehicle I was fair game for all. The atrocities committed by the Korean led Government troops were beyond belief and they made several determined efforts to kill me so I couldn't take pictures or report to the media what was going on. It was a hard survival school. I also took the opportunity to transfer from the local police reserve into Police forensics. My basic biology degree being deemed what was necessary. I gradually moved more into the forensic ballistics section.

    In 1987 peace finally returned and I got on with my Masters degree, but the Rhino war started up the following year. Being a research officer, the actual fighting wasn't supposed to be my job, but when you are losing, any officer who will help is welcome. It was a wasted effort. The poaching was controlled by 8 men, one of whom was the vice president of Zimbabwe and another the Director of the National Parks dept. The Chief Investigations officer for the Dept later proved to be a South African intelligence officer who was fully involved in protecting the poaching operations in the South East of the country. In hind sight it was a war we had lost before we started. I picked up a bullet through the right shoulder, another through the right leg and a couple of bad Phosphorous burns. The price one pays for trying to lead demoralised and pathetically trained troops in any sort of action.

    [​IMG]
    In 1993 I took a 3 month break to go to Somalia with the UN peacekeepers as a forensics' specialist. There was no peace to keep, and that war still drags on.

    With the economic collapse in Zimbabwe in 1999 my position as Senior Ecologist at head office was untenable. They simply couldn't have a white man in such a position and after several months of fairly intense harassment I left and went hunting. I took a short break in 2004 to go as a forensic specialist to the middle east...another war without end.

    The rapid decline in game populations in Zimbabwe, the influx of illegal operators and the break-down of so much of the infrastructure, as well as getting married and suddenly having a family to think about caused me to accept a post with Norma Precision in Sweden as R&D manager - my first job where you don't need someone or something dead to call it a successful day.
     

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  9. juan pablo pozzi

    juan pablo pozzi New Member

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    Don Heath ,Ganyana ,was like a bro ,he was my mentor in the professional hunting community ,he sent my first clients ,and was instrumental in my succes .We share many adventures together ,and althoug far aways we chat everyday abot guns ,hunting ,soldiering ,wars ,my dogs etc .He was an outstanding person in all the senses .My condolences for Sheila and the girls .
     

  10. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I watched videos of this man in preparation for my elephant hunt. Rest in peace sir!
     

  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage AH Legend

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    Well known Zimbabwean PH and outdoor writer, Dr. Don Heath, died over the weekend in Sweden. Don was currently head of R&D for the Norma Precision ammo manufacturer.

    I don't know what killed him yet, but allegedly he was experiencing severe headaches and memory loss from shrapnel and a plate in his head.

    In any event, it is a terrible loss and my condolences go out to his wife and children.

    I agree with many of the above statements...
     

  12. Petrus Geldenhuys

    Petrus Geldenhuys AH Enthusiast

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    Sad loss to Africa
     

  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    RIP, my condolences to his family.
     

  14. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Fanatic

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    Rip one of the good ones
     

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    Prayers
     

  16. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE DR. DON HEATH

    A Memorial Service will be held for the late Dr. Don Heath
    at the Methodist Church, Hillside, Bulawayo,
    on Thursday 12 November.

    Tea will be served at 17.00 hrs
    and the service will commence at 17.30 hrs.

    Friends and colleagues please accept this intimation.

    Condolence messages can be sent to Sheila via our offices: zphga
     

  17. tarbe

    tarbe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A guy I would have loved to sit around a fire with.
     
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  18. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    Ditto !
     

  19. Bruce

    Bruce AH Fanatic

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    Condolences to the Heath family from a fellow EX - Rhodesian now living in South Africa.
    "They were men of men... and their fathers were men before them "
    A sad loss to our industry.
     

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