Man killed by giant croc in Kruger Park

By admin
04 December 2014

A crocodile has killed the 29-year-old son of a Kruger National Park staff member, the KNP said in a statement.

KNP said the crocodile killed Jacques van der Sandt on Wednesday night at the Skukuza Golf Course, adjacent to the staff village.

"These animals are not in good condition as they have just come out of hibernation," SA National Parks disease ecologist Dr Danny Govender said in a joint statement.

"The animal was doing what naturally comes to them; hunting for food and unfortunately a life was lost in the process."

Van der Sandt was the son of retired staff member Schalk and staff member Lorretha van der Sandt. The couple had been working in the park since 1992.

Regional ranger Don English said he got a call around 10pm that someone was taken by a crocodile at the Lake Panic Dam in the golf course area.

"It is understood that a group of youngsters were hanging around after a game of golf when the incident happened," KNP said in a statement.

"Apparently the crocodile surprised the group and snatched the victim, then disappeared under water."

The rangers were alerted and after searching the dam for over two hours, spotted and put down the animal.

Van der Sandt's body was retrieved without any mutilation except for teeth marks on his front and back, KNP said.

"It is an unfortunate incident where a promising life was cut short; our condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim," KNP general manager of conservation management Dr Freek Venter said.

"Investigations are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances as it was an unnatural death. It is now an SAPS matter and SANParks will conclude its own internal investigation."

The Lowvelder newspaper reported on its website on Thursday that Van der Sandt was attacked by a crocodile said to be 3.9m long and dragged underwater.

According to the report, Skukuza police spokesman Warrant Officer Oubaas Coetzer said Van der Sandt entered the water at a bridge at the Skukuza Golf Club house's signature hole, number nine, which is played across Lake Panic.

The crocodile was apparently seen in the lake earlier in the day.

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