According to Google Dictionary, karma is a belief based in Hinduism and Buddhism that says a person’s actions dictate their future. It’s also a term that a number of animal lovers have been using to describe the following story.
In November 2015, an Italian hunter named Luciano Ponzetto drew the wrath of the internet after the public got a hold of photos of him smiling next to the body of a hunted lion.
According to Safari Club Italy (of which Ponzetto was a member), the photos were originally posted to the club’s Facebook page to showcase the winners of its annual Chapter Trophy Award competition— a competition in which Ponzetto had won a 3rd place prize.
The photos and subsequent media coverage made Ponzetto infamous. He was criticized and ultimately forced to resign from his role as the medical director of a business kennel.
The Sun also quoted him as saying, “I am being criticized by people who do not know me. I have always loved my work and I have always loved animals… I will carry on hunting until the law changes.”
But Luciano no longer hunts. It isn’t because the laws have been changed, however— it’s because he died in a manner that many are calling an act of karmic retribution.
One year following the initial controversy, media outlets reported that Ponzetto had died as a result of falling into a 100-foot ravine during one of his regular hunting trips. According to ATI, Ponzetto was hunting wild birds with friends in the Colle delle Oche hills near Turin, Italy, when he slipped on a patch of ice, ultimately falling to his death.
According to sources, prior to the incident, Ponzetto had recently returned from Canada and had bragged about catching a number of kills. An Italian spokesperson (via The Sun) said, “His body was recovered by helicopter and taken to a local hospital… He died instantly and there was nothing that could be done.”
Now, I’m not one to talk ill of the dead, but I can say that the news of Ponzetto’s death received very little sympathy. As mentioned, people considered the circumstances ironic, believing the hunter had finally paid the price for his hunting ways.