Buck Norris incident very rare

2011-10-14 13:36

Mokgaetji Shadung

Mountain biker Evan van der Spuy was not only lucky to escape unharmed when he was knocked over by a red hartebeest, but his encounter with this elusive animal was a rare occurrence.

Section ranger at the Table Mountain National Park, Amos Lombo, said he was surprised that the hartebeest came so close to Van der Spuy as these animals are usually shy and harmless.

“They usually spend their time in the veld away from human activity,” said Lombo, who described the incident as unbelievable. “People would be lucky to spot a red hartebeest because they tend to run away when they see people,” he said.

According to Lombo, hartebeest are not aggressive animals and would never attack people. “The only time they may react or push towards you is if you are in their way,” said Lombo, as it may have been the case with the KwaZulu-Natal cyclist.

Van der Spuy sparked international interest on YouTube after a video was posted of him being knocked over by a red hartebeest during the Time Freight Express Mountain Bike race at Albert Falls Dam outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Van der Spuy, who is reported to have described the incident as a blur, was knocked unconscious when the hartebeest crashed into him before running away.

The red hartebeest is a large reddish-fawn antelope with a sloping back and a long, narrow face. Adult bulls weigh 150kg and measure 1.3m at the shoulders, while cows weigh 120kg and are also known for being swift on foot.

Although the animals are regarded as non-threatening, Lombo advised people to be cautious when they are in areas where these animals roam.
“The hartebeest is a wild animal and at the end of the day you can’t predict their behaviour,” said Lombo.

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