Officials in Zimbabwe today continued their investigation into the apparent accidental shooting deaths of a professional hunter father/son team as they participated in an anti-poaching patrol in that African nation Sunday.
Dead are Claudio Chiarelli, 50, a member of Safari Club International and that group’s Italian Chapter, and his son Massimiliano (Max), aged 20.
SCI President Larry Higgins called the killing of SCI Members Claudio and Massimiliano Chiarelli a “tragic loss to their families, SCI and to hunting.” He further stressed how great the poaching problem is and how, as hunters, we must “take the problem very seriously.”
Initial reports indicated that the father and son were gunned down by accident as they stood near their vehicle in the Mana Pools national park. Officials reported that a wildlife ranger shot the two in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
“Claudio Chiarelli, who was an accomplished professional hunter who brought European tourists to Zimbabwe, was accidentally shot with his son and they both died,” Emmanuel Fundira, head of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, said on Monday.
“Claudio and some colleagues were on a trip with a parks anti-poaching unit when a ranger came from nowhere and shot at them while they were standing outside their vehicle. We understand it was a case of mistaken identity.”
The incident remained under investigation by Zimbabwe police and parks department officials.