ITALY – The infamous vet who sparked a backlash after posing with the big game animals he shot online, died after falling over 100 feet while hunting birds in Italy.
Luciano Ponzetto became infamous for his hunting escapades after pictures of him with his trophy kills spread on social media last year.
In an ironic twist, the 55-year-old veterinarian fell to his death this past Saturday doing what caused his notoriety – hunting.
Ponzetto was hunting wild birds for food with friends in Colle delle Oche, just north of Turin, Italy on Saturday when he slipped on ice and plunged into a gorge.
“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 received death threats and endless hate mail last year after photos of him posing with his kills surfaced online. Among the dead animals he posed with were lions, mountain goats, leopards and warthogs.
“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 hit social media quickly, with many calling it divine intervention.
One Twitter user tweeted a GIF of Simba from the ‘Lion King’ laughing with a hashtag ‘instantkarma’.
“The world is better without you!” another tweeted.