Tourists in Kruger elephant attack took unnecessary risk

2014-01-13 15:43

Elephant rolls car

2014-01-13 15:46

Shock footage has emerged of the most recent elephant attack in the Kruger National Park, which shows that two foreign tourists took unnecessary risk while on a self-drive safari.WATCH

Cape Town -  Shock footage has emerged of the most recent elephant attack in the Kruger National Park, which shows that two foreign tourists took unnecessary risk while on a self-drive safari.

Watch the video here

Tourists Sarah Brooks and Jans de Klerk, who refused to be interviewed at the time, had to be admitted to hospital after the elephant overturned their vehicle a few times, eventually pushing it off the road.

Brooks was injured when one of the elephant's tusks ripped through the back of her upper thigh, while De Klerk was unharmed.

The News24 Travel Reader, who submitted the footage and asked to remain anonymous, explained that they had been following the elephant, driving behind the blue VW used by Brooks and De Klerk.

It soon became clear to the reader that the elephant was getting agitated and they decided to fall back and keep at a safe distance.

Warning signs given by elephants include flapping of the ears or a mock charge where the ears are fully spread with its head down.  

In the video the elephant can be seen and heard doing both but at no point does the blue VW attempt to back away slowly. Instead it can be seen driving on and getting even closer to the elephant.

From the footage it appears they may have been trying to pass the elephant instead.

The reader admitted he wanted to warn Brooks and de Klerk that they were getting too close but could not risk putting anybody in danger or even hooting in case it further agitated the elephant.

In a controversial move, the KNP management shot and killed the elephant to prevent it from hurting other people. The decision sparked an outcry on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

At the time KNP spokesperson William Mabasa said people should not be quick to criticise the decision.  “Our rangers reported that the same elephant bull had been involved in previous fights with other dominant bulls since it has been in musth phase."

But the video shows the final incident that caused the animal to be put down could possibly have been avoided.

Despite the video footage, Mabasa says the park has no regrets. He believes the animal would have been put down irrespective as it was "unusually aggressive", with visitor safety coming first  - especially since numbers in the park are high during peak season.

It seems as long as people continue to choose the bushveld as a means of rest and relaxation, there will be those who behave badly, putting themselves and the animals at risk.  Who can forget the scene where this driver who played chicken with an elephant tried to push it off the road or the Singita Game Ranger who decided to charge a wild elephant just for kicks. 

What's your view on the matter? Tell us about it in the comments section below or email us at
 - News24 Travel

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