A field ranger in the Kruger National Park (KNP) was tragically killed yesterday (4 May 2022) during a confrontation with a buffalo. Field Ranger and Dog Handler Shando Mathebula was on duty in the Shangoni Section, in the northern part of the Kruger where he was based, when the tragedy occurred.
The Acting Chief Executive of South African National Parks (SANParks), Dumisani Dlamini, expressed his sadness and that of the entire organisation at the shocking loss of the 36-year old.
Dlamini extended condolences to the Mathebula family, friends, associates and fellow workers while paying tribute to the fallen Ranger.
Dlamini said “very few people have the courage and necessary skills to perform the important undertaking other than Rangers, in which Shando was and will forever be part of. His dedication was influenced by the need to promote the principles of Conservation and making sure that our fauna and flora are protected.
“He will rank amongst Rangers who have passed on whilst serving the people of South Africa, protecting the environment, and what the organisation stands for. Etlela hi kurhula – N’wana wa hina; may your soul rest in peace. You upheld the Ranger values and flew the SANParks flag high with dignity.”
The exact circumstances and cause of death are under investigation by the South African Police and SANParks. In a media release on SANParks’ website, the headline read “Shooting Incident Claims the Life of Field Ranger”.
KNP Head Ranger, Cathy Dreyer, expressed her sincerest condolences to the family on behalf of management. She said: “It is a sad day when we lose one of ours in the line of duty. We are working closely with the police and the colleagues and will provide an update at an appropriate time.”