Elephant handler killed in Hartbeespoort

2013-04-16 08:38

Johannesburg - A handler at the Elephant Sanctuary, near Hartbeespoort Dam, has been crushed and trampled to death by two elephants, it was reported on Tuesday.

Spokesman Craig Saunders told Beeld the animals were busy with their daily exercise programme in a training camp at the time of the accident on Monday morning.

"There were no visitors. The handler was very experienced -- he had worked exclusively with African elephants for four years," Saunders said.

"They were doing their usual morning exercise. The handler was on the elephant's back," Saunders said.

He said the handler fell and landed between a bull and a cow which were playing.

The elephants carried on playing and walking, not realising they were trampling their handler.

Saunders told the newspaper paramedics were on the scene within minutes, but could not save him.

He said the sanctuary was closed for the day, and police arranged counselling for employees.

According to Beeld, Captain Melody Pieterse wrote on the Facebook page of a Hartbeespoort crime forum that the two animals were on either side of a fence when they began wrestling.

"At no stage did they attack the elephant handler," she said.

Beeld reported that the handler's name had not been released because his family had yet to be informed.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    travel south africa


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks thrash USA, Habana level with Lomu
As it happened: Springboks 64-0 USA
No England contact for White
Boks: Coenie ‘worst dresser’
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.