Tourists get way too close to Kruger elephant... again

2014-03-20 09:15
Port Elizabeth – You’d think by now tourists know the dangers associated with wild animals, especially elephants… but no.  

Die Burger reports that a group of Italian tourists was spotted approaching a large elephant at the Afsaal picnic spot in the Kruger National Park on Wednesday.

According to Sheree Theron, a visitor from Port Elizabeth, the tourists made their way right up to the pachyderm and were shooting pics of each other standing up close to it like you would with a tame Thai elephant.  

Theron, her husband and a cleaner finally managed to alert the tourists to the dangerous situation by shouting “Too close! Too close! Get back!”

Fortunately the elephant seemed rather unperturbed by the intrusion and ignored the group.

Theron said she was shocked and angered by the group's tour guide who relaxed under a tree and did nothing to correct and educate them.

This comes after the widely publicised incident where an elephant bull in musth attacked a vehicle in the park at the end of last year, severely injuring one of the two occupants.  
In a controversial move, the KNP management shot and killed the elephant to prevent it from hurting other people. The decision sparked an outcry on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Earlier this year SANparks Acting Head of Communications, Reynold Thakhuli said “Visitors must respect the SANParks rulesand respect our animals, which includes remaining in your car at all times and keeping a 50m distance between you and the animals."

He added that all such incidents should be reported to park management.  
Check out Die Burger website for a photograph of the tourists up close to the creature.

And speaking of getting way too close to wild animals, take a look at our round-up of crazy animal attack videos from around the world.   

How do you think national parks can make visitors more aware of the dangers associated with getting too close to wild animals? Tell us in the comment section below, tweet us at
@news24travelor chat to us on Facebook. 
Read more on:    kruger national park  |  animals  |  travel  |  travel south africa
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