Shocking footage has emerged shedding new light on the incident a couple of weeks ago in which an elephant overturned a car in the Kruger National Park. A couple of tourists were injured when the elephant bull attacked; and the bull was subsequently killed (using euthanasia) by Park officials.
The video has sparked outrage as it shows that the tourists perhaps had an opportunity to escape but took unnecessary risk.
However the Kruger National Park is standing by its decision to have euthanised the elephant. In a statement, spokesperson William Mabasa said that visitor safety remains paramount.
He said: “The video seems to suggest that there was an opportunity for the tourists to have escaped the attack, but of course when you are directly involved in a situation like that, reason is no longer a factor but instinct and I think this was the case here.”
Mabasa said “we have no regrets, the animal would have been put down irrespective as it was unusually aggressive.”
It was discovered, after the animal had been killed, that it was in musth phase, an annual condition when a bull’s testosterone and levels of aggression increase. The animal had also suffered an injury which may have contributed to its aggressive behaviour. Rangers had recently reported the same bull for being involved in fights with other dominant bulls.
The couple were on holiday from the UK and have been identified in the media as Sarah Brooks and Jans de Klerk, originally from Pretoria. They were in a blue VW when they were attacked near the N’waswitshaka water hole, on the S65 near Skukuza. After the attack, they were airlifted from the scene to a nearby hospital where Brooks was treated for major injuries, including a gash in her thigh which the elephant’s tusks had ripped open; and de Klerk was treated for minor injuries.
The video was uploaded to YouTube today and has already received over 10,000 hits.
Watch the Kruger Elephant Attack video here:
Please be warned – it is quite shocking and emotional to watch. The couple in the car did sustain serious injuries but they both survived. The South African dialogue is entertaining as the female passengers try and direct ‘Ben’ to get out of there as soon as possible.