A vet who sparked fury after posting photos of him posing next to a lion he had killed has died after falling down a ravine while hunting.
Official reports say Luciano Ponzetto was out hunting in mountains when he slipped on ice and fell down a ravine at Colle delle Oche near the Italian city of Turin.
The 55-year-old was reportedly out shooting wild birds when he died and had only recently returned from another hunting trip in Canada.
Ponzetto had angered animal lovers last year by posting a photo of him smiling next to a lion he had just shot, reports the Daily Mail.
He even received death threats and although the 55-year-old Italian insisted he’d done nothing wrong, the controversy forced him to resign from his post as the medical director of a kennel business.
At the time he hit back at critics saying:
I know that I have done nothing wrong. I am being criticised 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.
Following his death, people were quick to point out the ‘irony’ with some even describing it as ‘karma’.
Italian vet Luciano Ponzetto who was also a trophy hunter died whilst out hunting in Italy HURRAH !!!!
— molly brown (@goodgolly007) December 10, 2016
Luciano Ponzetto,who posed with lion he killed, has died after plummeting down a ravine, while shooting birds, Devine intervention, karma ??
— Nanny Sue (@nannysue_sue) December 13, 2016
A spokesman for the Italian police said:
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.
It is reported that Mr Ponzetto died instantly and that there was nothing that could’ve be done to save him.