Kruger official fires shots to scare elephant

2014-05-22 09:45
Mbombela – The Kruger National Park is investigating an incident where a SANParks staff member apparently fired shots in the air to scare an elephant away.  

Beeld reports that two women from Pretoria were driving in the vicinity of Crocodile Bridge on Tuesday morning when they spotted an elephant close by.  

They told the paper that they stopped at a reasonable distance to watch the pachyderm, when suddenly a vehicle pulled up behind them and proceeded to rev its engine.  

The driver – who was wearing a SANParks uniform – then jumped out of the car and clapped his hands to try scare the animal off.  

However, when the elephant didn’t budge, he proceeded to fire off three shots into the air.

The shots spooked the animal and it proceeded to charge the tourists’ vehicle, but fortunately turned away just before he reached them.  

According to park spokesperson, Reynold Thakuli the incident has been confirmed and is currently under investigation.

He added that rangers are allowed to fire shots to scare off animals, but that there are strict rules:

"Rangers are allowed to scare away elephants who are blocking the road if there is a need. In the event that they are compelled to fire any shots to scare it away, they have to report to the section ranger of the region," he said.   
Earlier this year, following a number of incidents between tourists and animals, SANParks called on visitors to the park to respect the animals and keep a safe distance. 

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Read more on:    kruger national park  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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