PICS: Car wrecked as angry elephant attacks in Kruger National Park

2019-06-18 09:05
Marianne Kuehnast's car following an attack by an elephant in the Kruger National Park.

Marianne Kuehnast's car following an attack by an elephant in the Kruger National Park. (Facebook)

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"This is the end." 

That is how Marianne Kuehnast reportedly described her ordeal as an elephant cow charged her car in the Kruger National Park on Thursday, Netwerk24 reported.  

Kuehnast took to the SANParks - Kruger National Park Facebook page to describe her ordeal with the large animal. 

Her Nissan Qashqai was severely damaged in the attack. 

According to Netwerk24, Kuehnast, 40, from Centurion, and her 73-year-old mother were driving south of Tshokwane in the park on Thursday when a herd of elephants crossed the road.

"The car in front of us managed to sneak past the herd. There were calves in the herd and I stopped the car some distance from the herd to allow them to cross in peace," Kuehnast reportedly said.

In the meantime, cars behind her vehicle reportedly started to pile up, blocking Kuehnast in. 

One medium-sized female broke away from the herd and came charging the car head-on," Kuehnast told TimesLive.


Marianne Kuehnast's car following an attack by an elephant in the Kruger National Park. (Facebook)

"[They] charged us twice and hit the front of [the] car with its face and tusks. I had seen the elephant coming and tried to reverse but [a Toyota] Fortuner with a trailer was behind me and he kept indicating to me with his hands that he could not do anything," she reportedly said.

"The elephant was not harmed. Our car could still drive."

No way out

Kuehnast told TimesLive there was nothing else she could have done in the situation.

"The bush is dense in that region, so one can't see the elephant coming from a distance," she reportedly said.

"I looked at the charging elephant and thought this was the end. She rammed into my car twice," Kuehnast told Netwerk24. 

Kuehnast posted pictures of her damaged car on Facebook, saying: "Even for the most seasoned safari-goer! Things can go very wrong, very quickly. Our problem was that there was no way of escape - elephant in front and cars behind us."

Kuehnast's post elicited hundreds of comments, with many people warning motorists not to park too close to one another in the park to allow others to escape more easily if necessary. 

Others described similar experiences. Chris du Plessis wrote: "Must have been terrifying. I had the same experience. I couldn't move and jumped out on the passenger side because she came full speed for my door. The tusk went right through my door into my seat... There was no way I could have escaped death if I didn't jump out."


Marianne Kuehnast's car following an attack by an elephant in the Kruger National Park. (Facebook)

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