Mbombela - A tragedy unfolded at the world famous Kruger National Park on Thursday when a member of an anti-poaching patrol was accidentally shot by a colleague after being chased by a buffalo bull.
The incident took place in the Malelane section of the park.
In a statement issued by the South African National Parks (SANParks), the ranger allegedly said that the two were charged by a buffalo bull and in the ensuing confusion managed to find cover from where they attempted to "neutralise" the animal.
One of the rangers was, however, caught in the crossfire and sustained a fatal bullet wound to his upper body.
A doctor was flown to the scene and the man was transported via a helicopter to the Nelspruit Medi Clinic, but unfortunately it was too late.
"He was then rushed into theatre, but tragically later succumbed to his injuries."
SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni passed on his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the man.
"It is a sad day for us as a family. We have lost one of our own, a dedicated colleague and friend who not only served the organisation, but the entire globe to ensure the integrity of our natural heritage.
"We did all we could to save his life, but unfortunately we lost him. We hope this tragic incident will inspire our colleagues to carry on with the sterling work he was doing in the field, so that his death is not in vain."
The name of the ranger was yet to be released as family members had not yet been informed.