Elephant leaves tourists upside down and petrified

2012-11-15 00:00

THEY were so scared after an elephant overturned their car in the Kruger National Park that they did not leave their rest camp for two days.

Chris Hare (40), from Durham, England, was relating what happened on Monday when an elephant bull overturned the Hyundai Atos in which he and his fiancée, Helen Jennings (40), were travelling.

Minutes after the elephant had overturned the couple’s car, he attacked a second car, occupied by an American tourist, about 100 metres further down the road.

Hare and Jennings recently became engaged and were visiting South Africa for the first time as part of their celebrations.

They were on their way to Crocodile Bridge when they came across the elephant. “As we rounded the bend, the big guy was right there in front of us.

“He walked towards us and I pulled off the road.”

Hare said the elephant walked past them at first. “Then, when I looked back, I saw him walking straight towards the car. He pushed his tusk up against Helen’s door and overturned the car! It was terrifying and I was thinking, ‘but this cannot possibly be happening!’ Fortunately the elephant’s tusk didn’t penetrate the door, otherwise Helen could have been badly hurt,”said Jennings, who suffered slight injuries.

The elephant then walked a short distance to a second car. Vasti Fourie and her partner, Ben Theron, witnessed the second attack.

Fourie said the elephant charged the car, which belonged to an American tourist, several times.

At one point the bull stuck its tusk under the Chevrolet Spark, lifted it up and then threw it down on the ground. The animal then disappeared into the bush. “We stopped at the car to see whether the driver was okay.

“He just sat rigid behind his car’s steering wheel, muttering — I didn’t know what to do.”

When Fourie and Theron continued along the road to see where the elephant was, they came across the upside-down British couple.

Fourie said rangers had found blood on the British couple’s car, leading them to suspect that the animal may have had an abscess on its tusk.

Ray Thakuli, spokesperson of SANParks, said the incident was being investigated.

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.

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 News24

Traffic Alerts
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.