Frontline Foundation Update

Aid for Family of Fallen PH

By John Patterson, President Frontline Foundation

Just before Christmas, the DSC Frontline Foundation board received some tragic news. Well-known Zimbabwe professional hunter, Phil Smythe, was severely mauled on December 22 by a bull elephant while guiding clients in the Save Conservancy. Phil was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital in Harare where, despite heroic efforts to save his life, he died on December 30th.

Phil’s passing had a profound impact on the hunting community and it served to underscore once again the dangers that professional hunters and those on the frontlines who serve the hunting community face every day. Phil was beloved by former clients, and this tragic mauling touched the hearts of many. He was a young man with a wife who was expecting and two young children. Sadly, this family must now face an uncertain future without him.

Within a couple of days after the mauling, the DSC Frontline Foundation board approved a grant to Phil’s wife, Leah, to help pay for his medical expenses. Tracey Smythe, Phil’s sister said “Thank you Frontline for your support of Leah Smythe, and Phil and Leah’s two girls. We are grateful for the support and care that was instrumental in the eight days that we had with Phil before he died”. People in the hunting community including Phil’s former clients and DSC members also joined ranks in getting the word out and helped raise funds for the family. Thanks to their generosity, DSC Frontline Foundation received directed donations of $33,535, the most it has ever received. These donations along with DSC Frontline Foundation’s grant will result in over $53,000 of critical financial support for Leah and her children.

At the time this article was written, a trust was being set up to receive funds for the ongoing support of Phil’s family. If you would like to make a directed donation to this trust, please go to and follow the instructions on the donation tab or mail a check to the DSC Frontline Foundation at 13709 Gamma Road, Dallas, Texas 75244.

The DSC Frontline Foundation board joins the professional hunting community in mourning the passing of this fine young man, even as we celebrate the incredible generosity of those who support the DSC Frontline Foundation mission.

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