Victims accuse tourist behind elephant video of leaving them for dead

2014-01-27 10:41

Elephant rolls car - Shock footage of latest Kruger incident

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

Sarah Brooks and Jans de Klerk have accused the group of South Africans who released a video of the controversial elephant attack in the Kruger National Park of leaving them for dead in a Daily Mail interview.

The two tourists caught in the car were charged by an elephant in musth in Kruger National Park on 30 December 2013. The elephant, assessed by rangers as overly aggressive has since been killed.

Watch the elephant attack video.

In the report Brooks, a 30-year-old science teacher from Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom, recounts how she was struggling with the gears of a car she was unfamiliar with during the self-drive safari, slipping it into 1st gear instead of reverse. Brooks states she attempted to do a 3-point turn but blames the errors she made on the gears being on the wrong side of what she was used to.

Her fiancé, 32-year-old De Klerk said he also couldn't believe what was happening at the time. Realising the elephant was bearing down on them, they became paralysed with fear and then decided to keep as still as possible. Brooks said she unwittingly decided to switch off the car which only made matters worse.

According to the report the couple are completely traumatised by the situation, with Brooks needing to remain on crutches for 12 weeks since the elephant's tusk gauged her right thigh. Her ability to conceive children naturally is also in question due to the pelvic injuries sustained in the attack.

Brooks also says in the report that she is still having nightmares about the situation. A situation Brooks and De Klerk feel could have been much worse, since they we stuck in a smashed-up car with a broken windscreen, believing the group of South African tourists who had filmed their attack had left them for dead.
But the claims headlined in the report as - 'Ghouls filmed as we were savaged by an elephant, then left us to die': Injured British teacher begged them to keep video private - but they sent it round the world' - have been denied as untruths by the News24 Travel reader who released the footage.
In a statement made to News24 Travel the reader who has asked to remain anonymous said, "The moment that I saw the elephant start to attack their car I knew that there was nothing that we could do to stop the attack, except to get help.

In the video they can been seen driving away immediately, with the occupants of the car visibly and audibly shaken-up.
"In my head, I wanted to warn the driver of the Polo to stop or even reverse but had no means of doing so, as I was afraid that hooting or shouting would have provoked the animal and agitated him even further.

The reader said they attempted to phone for help, but with minimal cellphone reception in the park they could not get through immediately.

"One of our passengers was able to get through to the Emergency call-desk, but lost reception during the call and our only other option was to rush to the nearest camp inside the Park to get help, all the while praying that the people in the car were okay."
Upon their arrival at the Skukuza Camp the group was informed that rangers had already been dispatched after the call they had made.

According to the reader, they had been in contact with Brooks and Van de Klerk after the incident and the couple had been made aware of what had happened and what they tried to do in order to get help to them.

In the Daily Mail report the couple said they had asked the group of South Africans not to release the footage.

"We are saddened by what they have now decided to tell the media. Our intention was for the video to be used to help educate people visiting local game parks," the News24 reader said.

SANParks acting Head of Communications Reynold Thakhuli said, "At this point the identity of the caller is immaterial, we responded to the emergency and airlifted the couple to hospital for the necessary treatment. Unfortunately the elephant is now dead.

"A witch hunt of this manner is unnecessary as both parties have walked away alive and they should just move on now."

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