Singita axes ranger for elephant charge

2013-05-14 09:24

Man charges wild elephant

2013-05-13 09:20

A man, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, decided to take on a wild elephant in the Kruger National Park. WATCH

Johannesburg - After footage of an alleged drunk man charging a wild elephant did the rounds on social media on Monday, Singita, the reserve where the incident took place, launched an inquiry into the matter, axing a staff member involved. 

The following statement was posted on Singita's Facebook page on Monday: "Very disturbing video footage in the social media arena has been brought to our attention and we are conducting a serious investigation into the background of what took place. The behaviour displayed in this video completely contradicts Singita's guiding ethos. The harshest disciplinary measures will be taken to address this incident." 

Followed by a later update reading: "We have conducted a thorough investigation into the content of this video and the appropriate disciplinary measures have been taken to address this incident. The guide involved in the confrontation is no longer employed by Singita and further disciplinary procedures are in progress with regard to others involved."

According to LookLocal Marlon du Toit, a friend of the field guide responsible for the incident, posted a comment on his own Facebook page, agreeing that the behaviour displayed in the video is contrary to Singita's guiding ethos. 

He later posted a statement from the guide in question:

"As a result of the recent spread of video content portraying a game ranger confronting a wild elephant I would like to acknowledge that I am responsible for the incident and sincerely regret my harmful and dangerous behaviour. I completely agree with comments that have been made about the unprofessional and unethical treatment of animals. I admit full responsibility for the actions and am deeply, deeply remorseful."

He added that he thought it was ridiculous that people were attributing his behaviour to the greater Singita company, and that he realised it was harmful to the company's reputation. 

"The fact that the extremely good work it has done all over Africa is now being questioned due to the stupid actions of one person is beyond belief. The company in question currently conserves over half a million acres of land across Africa, provides 19 000 meals to school children daily and is throwing major resource and people into a host of conservation projects across the continent," he said. 

He ended off his statement, saying that it was good to see that so many people were appalled by the type of behaviour shown in the video. "This type of behaviour is unacceptable because it is and you should be angry. I ask that you vent your anger at me and don't drag the name of an amazing company through the mud for something that they clearly had no hand in."


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