Stop It … You’re Killing Me
Of the PHs I’ve known personally, one was killed by an elephant and five were chewed by leopards. All five...
Of the PHs I’ve known personally, one was killed by an elephant and five were chewed by leopards. All five survived, although one man shot a colleague of his during another leopard encounter. The reason so many run afoul of old chui (which is Swahili, I think, for leopard, and a great example of onomotopoeia)is the speed with which they get at you. Leopards are not all that large (a 150-pound tom is a very big one) and they can conceal themselves behind nothing more than a clump of grass, so the first sign that kitty is around is when his dewclaws are sunk in your neck and he is trying to disembowel you with his hind claws.
I know of only one PH who did the job for a long time and never ran afoul of an animal. He was a French PH who worked in Zambia, and in 40 years in the bush the only injury he sustained was when a Land Rover hood fell on his hand and chopped off a finger. The most unlikely death was a PH who perished when an iron-hard spike of mopane wood punched through the floor of his Land Rover and into his femoral artery.