An Italian big game hunter who posed with images of his trophy kills online died after falling 100 feet down a ravine while hunting birds.
Luciano Ponzetto, 55 — a veterinarian — was hunting with friends in Colle delle Oche near the northwest city of Turin on Saturday when he slipped on ice and plunged into the gorge. The controversial hunter was targeting wild birds at the time, shortly after returning from another hunting trip in Canada.
“His body was recovered by helicopter and taken to a local hospital,” an Italian police spokesman told The Sun. “It looks like he slipped and fell when he was out hunting. He died instantly and there was nothing that could be done.”
Ponzetto said he received death threats and droves of hate mail beginning last year after photographs of him posing alongside his big game kills — including a lion — surfaced online. But the self-proclaimed animal lover said he promised to keep hunting so long as there were no laws prohibiting the practice.
“I am being criticized by people who do not know me, I have always loved my work and I have always loved animals,” Ponzetto previously told The Sun. “I will carry on hunting until the law changes.”
News of Ponzetto’s death sparked widespread reaction online, where some users called it divine intervention or karmic retribution.