Skip to content

My Spared Life

Feb 11, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT

I shouldnt be alive

For some of us there are moments that take place when you realize just how close you were to having your life taken from you; at such a moment you can’t help but acknowledge that God has a greater plan for your life.

When venturing into wild places there is always a risk of danger, but take your adventure to the jungle and this risk increases by a thousand times! In the African jungle lurks dangerous predators such as lion and leopard, along with forest elephant who you only notice when within mere feet of his dangerous tusks. There are chimpanzee and gorilla who also have the strength to easily kill a man, along with insects who can insert parasites inside of you who will slowly eat you from the inside out. There are deadly snakes like black mamba, green mamba and Gabon viper whose bite boasts enough venom to kill 100 or more men!

Now consider that you can only see one or two feet in front of you (due to the thick vegetation); one can’t predict their next move well enough in advance, and you’ll find yourself relying heavily on instinct, or in my case, God.

We were slowly driving down the dirt road with the objective to find fresh tracks of sitatunga so we could track him into the depths of the jungle. As we crept along, vines with thorns hung down; with our arms and hands we’d delicately brush them from our face so not to get snagged by the vicious thorns. But my arm weakened from the repetitious process and instead I bobbed my head down out of the way… it was at that very moment that the pygmies alerted me to a green mamba snake that hung on the vine six inches from my face poised to strike! Had I brushed him with my arm (like I had been doing for several hours prior to the encounter), I would’ve been bit! My only option for survival would’ve been immediate amputation by machete!

It was clear to me that my Maker had a greater purpose for my life and weakened my arm at that very moment. Not only did I breathe a sigh of relief, but said a prayer of gratitude!

  1. davecoburn - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    Another GOD SAVED ME, poorly written article, not far from Knowlton’s sensationalization of his whiny adventures and accounts of how bad his flu was and how cold it was and how far it was…… Constantly throwing God into the equation. I live in South Africa! 7 years ago, we had a curious green mamba that would suspend itself in a tree fern less than a meter from our lounge window. It irritated my two big dogs who would bark incessantly to a point of irritation. I would go out, an once it had spotted me it would slither off with incredible speed. On odd occasions, we thought it had gone for good and walked straight past it. Dogs slumped against our front door full of porcupine quills, boomslang, adders, spiders and a range of other creatures lived in harmony on our property which brings me back to the God comment.

    Dramatic attempt at another “Great White Hunter” story. You must be so well connected to God and he seemed to have the time to save you instead of the Sitatunga you felt the need to kill. As you seem to be a strong believer, would you do us all a favour. When your time comes, please take along an album of all the animals you have shown disrespect for so far e.g. the ‘powder puff lion’ image and various others. Present these at the ‘Pearly Gates’ and as you are so well connected, perhaps God could send us a sign (maybe a gunshot for ‘no’ and silence for ‘yes’) to say he is completely in awe of your behaviour and desire to trophy hunt. Or were you just trying to feed the pigmies, another village or on another conservation effort save the Sitatunga?

    It becomes more and more evident as time goes on and since Bachman’s huge mistake of posting her pathetic disrespectful image, causing the ‘can of worms’ to explode into a global outrage, that hunters desperately need recognition. The theory of having an expanded foam replica of an animal, with it’s skin sown back on, glass bead eyes pushed back into the once life-filled cavities in your home and posting your whiny stories is helping to create a general character outline. It’s about self recognition. It is a practice that guarantees you recognition in your own small circles. It is a minority group, who battle daily to defend their killing. A group of people that have massive inflated egos. Sort of, a ‘boys with big toys’ syndrome, now including women.

    There are millions of daily accounts of dangerous situations that people write about, none of them resulting in the death of an animal from some distance, who have an unfair advantage. Clearly, only trophy hunters can impress each other with these accounts! I wonder if God would be so forgiving of your cheesy, powder puff poses and determination to defy the natural laws of nature, to appease your trophy hunting fraternity?

    Physically, your repetitive arm movement, a natural occurrence due to muscle fatigue, weakened your arm! Not God! And lastly, I am not an ‘anti’/keyboard warrior with no experience of the African bush, in fact having served in the South West African/Angolan border war, growing up in the African bush and still surfing shark occupied waters, your story is just average. Perhaps I could have a regular column on this page for some exciting reading, which would never feature the death of a great animal.

    My edited version of your stories: A credit card, a flight booked, an arranged trip to a predetermined location of an animal, a round loaded into a high powered rifle, aimed at a defenseless creature, trigger squeezed, back on a vehicle, locals do the dirty work, glasses of wine and tall stories back at camp, off to the taxidermist, back on the plane, plane lands and the minority group delivers your ultimate message, ‘you’re so aaaaaaawesome’. Trophy gets smuggled home quickly and joins the rest of the lifeless REPLICAS. Please use the term REPLICA from now on in your articles, as the definition of an animal (see Wikipedia) is far removed from a lifeless replica of a head-on-a-wall.

    Right or wrong? You’ve removed my comments so often as I have told you on so many occasions how it really is. I hope to receive a response one of these fine days.

    • neonblade - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:11 AM

      I couldn’t come up with a better reply than Dave Coburn, except to add that I live in a country that has 7 of the ten deadliest snakes in the world. The top two are very common in my area, and I often see them when I’m bushwalking . Anyone who thinks “My only option for survival would’ve been immediate amputation by machete” shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere near the bush. What sensationalist, dramatic rubbish. Please go and take a basic first-aid course before you next go bush. I hope no-one is stupid enough to read this drivel and think that “amputation by machete” is an effective snakebite strategy.

  2. joesmom - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    God has a purpose for you? You, who kill God’s magnificent creatures for FUN? Ever think he was sending you a WARNING?

  3. robinofthewest - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    I’m sure God does have something in store for you … involving: Hell, Fire and Eternity.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!