Gemsbok attack walkers in game reserve

Bloemfontein - Gemsbok stormed and injured several walkers taking part in a fun walk at a Free State game lodge over the weekend.

Two of the injured, Amanda Appelgryn and her daughter Janecke, 8, were admitted to Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic with several tissue injuries.

Esmé van Wijk also ended up in hospital after she and her two friends, Elsie Geeringh and Sonja van Wyk, were attacked by a gemsbok while other walkers were watching.

About 455 walkers took part in the Klingelklokkie fun walk in aid of Volksblad's Christmas fund, which was held for the tenth time on Saturday at Sangiro Lodge near Bloemfontein. The route is in the shape of a horseshoe, said Appelgryn.

Flew through the air

"When we came back, a gemsbok attacked us from the right. I wanted to protect Janecke but the buck hit me on the arm," she said.

"Jan (her husband) and Janecke flew through the air."

Janecke was walking between her parents. The couple's other daughter, Rista-Mari, 12, was about 20m behind them.

"I landed in a prickly pear bush and my leg was full of thorns. Jan was badly bruised from the fall and Janecke's eyes started rolling."

Appelgryn then contacted ER24 paramedics, who were on duty outside the camp.

Janecke was tied to a plate, which supported her spinal cord, and was given oxygen in an ambulance.

"Paramedics helped to get the thorns from my hand and leg. My arm was bandaged in the ambulance."

Janecke's neck, jaw and head were scanned at the hospital but no fractures were found. Her mouth was cut up inside.

"We are incredibly grateful that it isn't more serious.

"The gemsbok's horn has been etched on my husband's arm," said Appelgryn.
 
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