Veterinarian Known For Hunting Trophy Animals Dies After Falling Off Cliff

A veterinarian who was scorned by the internet for hunting exotic animals recently died after falling down a steep ravine.

Credit: Luciano Ponzetto

It wasn’t long ago that 55-year-old veterinarian Luciano Ponzetto proudly posted a photograph himself with a lion trophy kill. That act sparked massive backlash from animal rights activists all around the world, and eventually resulted in him being removed as medical director of a kennel business near Turin, Italy.

Wildlife advocates claim that it’s impossible to care for animals and then shoot them whilst out hunting. Ponzetto, however, maintained that being a vet “is not incompatible with hunting, either morally or professionally.” The animal doctor’s argument was supported by Italy’s Veterinarians’ Guilt, which stated that “hunting is a hobby regulated by the law, which does not allow us to take measures against him.” Ponzetto declared in a Facebook post that he would continue to hunt until it became illegal.

Credit: Luciano Ponzetto

Despite receiving death threats and hate mail, Ponzetto continued to hunt large and exotic wild animals. Earlier this week, however, the hunter’s career was cut short when he died after falling 100ft down a ravine while shooting birds. An Italian police spokesman told the press:

“We were called by the mountain rescue services who had been alerted to the incident by someone who was out with him. His body was recovered by helicopter and taken to a local hospital.

“It looks like he slipped and fell when he was out hunting. He died instantly and there was nothing that could be done,” the spokesman said.

As The Sun points out, the case has drawn comparisons between that of Cecil the Lion, who was shot dead by dentist Walter Palmer in Zimbabwe last year.

Credit: Luciano Ponzetto

Various sites have deemed the veterinarian’s death to be a result of ‘karma’. One individual even wrote:

“I don’t quite see how this man could have worked as a vet and then happily gone out and killed animals.

“He should have had more respect.”

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