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HomeNewsElephant charges field ranger at Kruger National, seriously injuring him

Elephant charges field ranger at Kruger National, seriously injuring him

Durban – A field ranger was seriously injured after an elephant charged at him at the Kruger National Park.

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According to South African National Parks (SANParks), the field ranger was on patrol in the Pretoriuskop Section, in the south-western part of Kruger National Park, on Tuesday at around 8am.

SANParks spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said preliminary reports suggest that the injured field ranger was on patrol with his colleagues when a breeding herd of elephants crossed the road in front of them.

“One of the elephants turned back and charged the field ranger, which resulted in him sustaining serious injuries.

“His colleagues managed to rescue him by firing a warning shot at the elephant, which ran off, and they were able to immediately call for help.

“A helicopter with a doctor and support team on board immediately responded. The injured field ranger was stabilised on the scene and transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital for further medical attention.”

Reacting to the incident, the head ranger, Catherine Dreyer, expressed relief that the field ranger was not fatally wounded and was quickly attended to.

“These are the daily dangers that we face in protecting our natural heritage and the Park from all wildlife crime. The possibility of being attacked by a dangerous wild animal are always present and, in some instances, unavoidable, especially with the bush being so thick during this time of the year. It makes it difficult to see animals from a distance and have sufficient time to react.

“We are grateful, though, that we managed to stabilise our colleague and transport him to hospital, and we have him and his family in our prayers. We would also like to thank all field rangers who were with him at the time and assisted in stabilising and transporting him under very difficult conditions”.

Phaahla said the name of the injured field ranger is being withheld until his family has been formally notified.

He said Ranger Services are continually looking at ways to improve the safety of Rangers on patrol.

In another incident in October, a 16-month-old died after being trampled by a giraffe at Kuleni Farm.

The child’s mother was seriously injured in the attack.

IOL

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