Elephant gores handler

2013-01-08 08:32

George - An elephant handler at a Garden Route game reserve is in a serious condition in hospital after he was gored by the elephant he was looking after.

The incident happened at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve near Klein Brak River, reported Beeld.

Emmanuel Ghama, 37, was busy brushing an elephant cow called Tsotsi when she turned to him and gored him with one of her tusks, puncturing his gall bladder and liver.

Ghama underwent an emergency operation and was in a serious yet stable condition in a Mossel Bay hospital.

Game reserve owner Arnold Neethling said Ghama had been working as an elephant handler for the past three months and was originally from Mozambique.

“In the elephant world this was an accident. Tsotsi was perhaps irritable and just wanted to say: ‘Stand aside, I don’t want this now.’

“It may also have been that she got a fright. If she had really wanted to kill him, she would have,” said Neethling.

None of the other elephant handlers saw what had happened and only spotted Ghama lying on the ground after the incident with the elephant grazing peacefully next to him.

She did not act aggressive at all during the day, said Neethling.

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2013-01-08 08:42

    was busy brushing an elephant cow called Tsotsi...... Tsotsi???

      janice.mcmaster.92 - 2013-01-08 09:22


      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-08 09:49

      Elephant cows also get PMS.

  • nuus.reeder - 2013-01-08 08:57

    These animals are "tamed" using incredibly cruel methods, so no surprise a handler is hurt from time to time.

      marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-01-08 09:30

      A wild animal remains wild! They should be treated and respected as the wild animal that they are!

  • jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-08 09:02

    Wishing him a speedy recovery...

      beverly.young3 - 2013-01-08 09:06

      Yup, it was an accident.......

  • Ekkie Ries - 2013-01-08 09:03

    They are unpredictable animals that should be left in the wild!!!!

  • john.silver.3572846 - 2013-01-08 09:14

    Poor man... but truth be told, no one should be an elephant "handler"

  • clive.kihn - 2013-01-08 09:14

    Here we go again: for goodness sake, an African elephant is a wild animal and should be treated as such. It's not the family pet!

  • Sibusiso - 2013-01-08 09:15

    So the 'owner' is saying the handler got of lightly?Why should a wild animal have an 'owner'?

  • msika.bopha.9 - 2013-01-08 09:25

    What do you expect from Tsotsi??

  • ishaad.mohammed - 2013-01-08 09:26

    looking after or abusing - just asking????

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-08 09:33

    This is the same as training Elephants for the circus, these places should be shut down, elephants belong in the wild.

  • desmond.s.leaner - 2013-01-08 09:34

    Just another case of cheap labour bearing the brunt of no training cause handling an elephant is a menial task... Fine the "owner"

  • mart.botha - 2013-01-08 09:37

    Get well soon young man....I admire you for taking on the risks of caring for these elephants. A previous comment re 'tamed' elephants and cruelty I don't think apply....these are not in a circus and probably accepted human 'familiarity' from very young orphans, as is their wont.

  • tolene - 2013-01-08 09:53

    Whilst this is a terrible accident, please keep in mind that this is NOT India where elephants are beaten and bashes to perform tricks. The elephant down the Garden Route are all saved from when the Kruger National Park did a large cull a few years ago, these animals are treated with love, respect and care at all these establishments down the Garden Route. This is a terrible accident and I agree, yes it is a wild animal and should be treated as such, they are intelligent creatures. Dont jump to conclusions about their treatment, they are NOT chained up or detained in the way you see in the cruelty cases in India. I pray for the handlers recovery.

      Lanfear Mierin - 2013-04-16 11:33

      Well, it certainly happens in South Africa, just look at the Brian Boswell circus case. Not saying it happens at these sanctuaries though, but really, stop trying to pretend that elephant abuse only happens in India!

  • kiran.jagmohan - 2013-01-08 10:15

    "... should be left on the wild!!!!" What wild, where? It's commercial land everywhere! Reserves are the only remaining "sanctuaries."

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2013-01-08 10:59

    Typical Neethling , down playing such a serious incident as if he the elephant is some kind of a braakie . And the fact that the victim is from Mozambique is not important at all , his life is still important and should be protected like Kobus's would . Habitual abusers !

  • Darian.Gray - 2013-01-08 11:37

    The elephant don't like foreigners. It was a xenophobic attack. LOL

  • grusque.walusz - 2013-01-08 11:43

    For all the comments about the animals that should not have an owner or should be left in the wild, please sell your properties and move into a high rise to make the wild space avaialble, then support causes to limit the impact of humans on these animals. Also remeber to have only one child, or better no children, that way they won't be taking up space either!

      Lanfear Mierin - 2013-04-16 11:34

      I know you are being sarcastic, yet in seriousness, I think the "rules" you spell out should BE rules and apply to all humans.

  • Louise Dolan - 2013-04-15 21:49

    I met Tsotsi the elephant at Botlierskop a couple of weeks ago. She lives on a beautiful private game reserve and seemed to have a pretty nice life! Better to live there than be culled due to over population in Kruger. She lives there with a male elephant and their calf and is trained to give occasional elephant rides to tourists for some fruity treats. I only saw her handlers treat her with kindness and respect and when I gave treats to the bull elephant they fed Tsotsi separately as she is protective of her calf who was conceived and born on the reserve. I'm not sure that she's suitable for elephant rides for the public if she has gored one of her handlers though! Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery and I hope that his employers are looking after him after this unfortunate incident.

  • pages:
  • 1