Hunter Killed by Swarm of Hornets in Secluded Mountains

A popular man died in Austria when a gang of killer hornets hunted him in the mountains.

The man identified only as ‘Erich K’ was attacked while in a wooden hunting stand on Friday, August 19.

The professional furniture maker was hunting in the Poppendorf-Bergen area in the town of Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitztal in the Austrian state of Burgenland when the awful incident took place.

He managed to escape the attacking horde, but the ordeal eventually cost him his life.

Erich managed to phone emergency services before slipping into unconsciousness and responders found him lying motionless on the ground.

Officials said: “Erich called a colleague by cell phone and briefly told him what had happened.”

The 58-year-old was flown to a hospital by helicopter where he eventually died from his injuries.

An investigation found a hornets’ nest nearby to where Erich died.

A local inspector said on Sunday, August 21: “There are two cable holes in the wood on the back, which serve as an entrance and exit for the insects.

“The hornets react immediately to jerky, fast movements. No one dares to get too close to them.”

One friend said that “Erich was a man with 100% handshake qualities. His tragic death hits us all hard.”

Another added: “We will miss Erich terribly!”

Hornet stings are not necessarily deadly to humans, but people can be affected if they already have underlying health conditions.

Their venom is also much more harmful to a human body if multiple hornets find a person and attack them all at once. They tend not to randomly attack humans but may do so if they feel as though their nest is threatened in some way.

There is also a difference between the type of hornet, with the invasive Asian ‘murder hornet’ much more dangerous to humans.

Of the European sub-species, the Sussex Wildlife Trust said: “Hornets can of course potentially pack a punch. They harness a sting typical of their family group, though it’s non-barbed and won’t be pulled from the hornets’ body, unlike that of a honeybee.

“It is of course worth noting that stings can still trigger allergic reactions, and those susceptible to wasp venom will likely suffer the same from hornets.

“The simple fact is that the European hornet is a docile creature, avoiding conflict and rarely displaying any form of aggression…It suffers from an undeserved reputation.

It is not known which type of hornet killed Erich K.

Mayor of the Heiligenkreuz Municipality Eduard Zach said: “This tragedy has shaken us all. The whole community mourns Erich. He was full of life, reliable, helpful and popular everywhere because of his affable manner.”

The nest was eventually removed by firefighters wearing protective clothing.

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