Holy smoke: Croatian bishop accidentally shoots hunter

ZAGREB (AFP) – A Croatian bishop accidentally shot and badly wounded a man while hunting wild boar, reports and officials said on Tuesday, igniting criticism on social media.

Bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak was on an organised hunting trip in eastern Croatia last Friday when he misfired his rifle and struck another hunter in the thigh, the Vecernji List daily paper said.

The bishop’s Bjelovar-Krizevci diocese said in a statement that “he voices his deep sorrow for what has happened and wishes a quick recovery to the wounded hunter”.

Police, without identifying the bishop, said they “completed a probe of a 58-year-old man” who “shot at a wild animal but missed and the bullet hit a 64-year-old man”.

He was hospitalised in Zagreb with serious injuries but his life was not in danger, police said, adding that they would file a criminal complaint against the shooter.

“This is something unusual and such a thing has never happened in the recent history,” the Vecernji List paper quoted an anonymous church source as saying.

According to local media, the bishop has a reputation as an avid hunter.

The accident sparked many, mostly negative, comments on social media in Croatia.