Kruger Attack: Readers decry elephant killing

2014-01-15 16:08

Elephant rolls car - Shock footage of latest Kruger incident

2014-01-13 15:46

Shock footage has emerged of the most recent elephant attack in the Kruger National Park, which shows that two foreign tourists took unnecessary risk while on a self-drive safari.WATCH

If News24 readers had their way, two tourists who found themselves staring down an elephant bull in musth, while on a self-drive safari in the Kruger National Park recently  - would be banned for life and nominated for a Darwin Award.

The elephant, deemed unusually aggressive by authorities, was shot and kill after it charged their car, injuring one of the occupants. The report sparked initial outrage.

But video footage detailing the incident, taken by a News24 Travel reader who was in the car behind them, shows these tourists took unnecessary risk and behaved irresponsibly.

Kruger Park spokesperson William Mabasa said SANParks does not regret the decision as visitor safety was its first concern.

"People should not be quick to criticise the decision. Our rangers reported that the same elephant bull had been involved in previous fights with other dominant bulls since it has been in musth phase."

After watching the dramatic elephant charge video, which shows the tourists could have avoided the situation, readers have responded once again with remorse and anger that the animal, acting in accordance with its nature and instinct, had to be put down.
We've round-up a few of the comments shared on our social media streams Facebook and Twitter - take a look.

News24 Travel comments:

Tsholo Matjane -  Watching the video, it's clear that the decision to put it down was taken prematurely. Those idiots acted irresponsibly. The are guidelines that we receive when we enter Kruger National Park, that advises about the behaviour around elephants. It's a green pamphlet where they attach the car permit. They broke every guideline contained in that permit. They should be banned from entering any facility that provides an opportunity to come into contact with wild animals. They were irresponsible on that day. I don't understand Afrikaans that much, but the people who shot the video acted more responsibly.

Arthur Tarr - More Like Surviving Stupidity

Mona Scheepers - I don't think a animal should be killed for a human's stupidity, they had chance to reverse and get away. Animals must not be killed for a human that can't think for themselves. Leave the WILD animals in the WILD alone..................duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bridget Steyn - This is very very sad why did they shoot Ollie that was his territory those 2 idiots must get a big fine Ollie warned them they had a change to get away but no they thought they were very clever poor Ollie is gone because of them being so stupid

Michael Mopai - It breaks my heart to hear that the elephant was shot dead,watching the video,these guys had enough time to reverse before it can charge.Poor elephant lost its life because of stupidity.

Marni van Emmenis -  Another prime example of people who think they know what to do, but clearly don't - and that statement is applicable to SanParks and the idiot behind the wheel of the blue Polo. Surely you investigate an insident properly before taking drastic action. And the statement "...the same elephant bull had been involved in previous fights with other dominant bulls..." is ridiculous! Clearly Mr. Mabasa is working for a company he knows nothing about. All animals fight within groups to test dominance and settle where who fits in, humans as well. Please don't try to convince the public you knew exactly what you were doing and why.

Bob Broom -  Absolutely correct; but there's another element here that SANPARKS etc is evading for the moment. The KNP has far too many elephants and this has been the case for years and the "powers that be" have sat on their hands and tried to get someone else to make the only decision necessary; cull large numbers, so as to reduce the population size and protect all the species in the food chain. It's too emotive an issue and no-one wants to be responsible for effectively saying "Kill"! But that is unfortunately the only solution and until it happens, the situation will only exacerbate. It is an opportunity for some creative minds to save large tracts of the KNP where there are massive problems and also to provide an unparalleled source of meat for starving multitudes of our own people. Who is going to be brave enough, both in the public and private sector to tackle all this? So much could have been achieved with the money that was stupidly spent on building white elephant (no pun intended) stadiums for the farcical soccer world cup.

Gungets Tuft -  Chez Kri - every visitor to Kruger gets given an entrance document explaining how to stay safe. People just don't read it. They get out of their vehicles, they follow and approach animals too closely, they speed, litter and park badly at sightings. You can lead this horse to water, but the rest is up to the individual.

SANParks operational staff do a great job, despite the public (uninformed) sentiment about this elephant. If people knew what they faced every day then they might just ease up a little and start contributing. In a day a section ranger can deal with enything from a shoot-out with poachers, speeding/crashed vehicles (a home affairs vehicle turned over yesterday!!), a leopard in a camp, a black mamba in a chalet, a flash flood, a fire, reports of animals in snares, drunk guests, and .. yes .. rogue animals (which could have anything from injuries to nerve damage in a broken tusk)

I advice anyone who wishes to criticise to buy and read Bruce Bryden's "A game Ranger Remembers", to just get an idea. Everyone gets all emotional about an ele (yes, it's sad, but ..) but don't spare a thought for the underpaid, overworked and clearly unappreciated ranger staff who put it on the line every day. People need to chill, and learn.

Dylon Damian - An animal just being an animal. A friend of mine who took pics of the car after the fact told me that they were warned that the elephants were on heat and shouldn't aggravate them further. But I guess being on top of the food chain has its perks.

Chris Carver-Brown -  Human stupidity appears to know no bounds. Male Elephants in musth are well known to be aggressive;fact. That they fight with other bulls during this phase has been going on for millennia;fact. approaching a lone bull from behind and then not heeding its warning signs is the height of stupidity and ignorance;fact. That the elephant should pay with its life is a travesty. This video footage is enough evidence for me to convict the occupants of the Polo of gross negligence and provocation with intent.I hope the insurance company refuses to pay for the Polo based on this. Hardly justice for the death of a magninficent elephant.



Hans Enslin - There has been 3 such incidents in the KNP now in 12 months ....!! which makes me wonder , ? to many people , or maybe to many elephants. Something it seems is making them more stressed to make them act out in this manner more frequently.Just a thought.

SirMark Lambshank Phillips - The headline should actually read " Kruger Park Elephant defends himself against Car - Kruger National Park

Johan Uys Voigt - I have commented on several of this footage... the elephant was innocent! It was so decent as to give up his right of way 3 times in succession, but no, the person had to try and establish his human authority against an animal wich was in it's own habitat. There is no pill for ignorance or stupidity!

Wendy Lane -  I am disgusted that this happened.... WHY SHOOT THE ELEPHANT.... its so upsetting... I hope those IGNORANT people are BANNED FROM THE KRUGER PARK FOREVER !!!

Louise Cornforth - And the the poor Elephant was Murdered because it defended itself against the stupidity of humans.

Melanie-ann Diesel -  Idiot tourists. It's akin to going in the water where there are sharks. You take the risks, if you get attacked and/or eaten it's your own stupid fault. The poor elephant.
Read more on:    sanparks  |  kruger national park  |  travel south africa  |  bush  |  safari

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