Alert! News just in to SA Blog: an angry bull elephant overturned a tourist vehicle in the Kruger National Park, between the Phalaborwa Gate and the Letaba Camp (KNP map | KNP Big 5 sightings), last week.
The vehicle was carrying four passengers, a 40-year old driver and three children, all of whom sustained minor injuries during the attack. They were transported to Phalaborwa, Mpumalanga, after the incident.
According to an eyewitness, the occupants of the vehicle were looking at the elephant from a distance – but when it advanced towards them, the driver could not beat a hasty retreat, because of trouble restarting the car’s engine.
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The elephant mauled the vehicle on the driver’s side – a la Jurassic Park – between the driver’s door and the hood, and flipped it over. Other tourists honked their horns to scare the elephant away – which worked, surprisingly.
“A few incidences of elephant aggression have been reported recently in the Park and we would like to advise tourists to be extra careful when they are at an elephant sighting in order to avoid incidents such as this unfortunate occurrence,” said Dr Bandile Mkhize, the Executive Director of the KNP. (What he meant, exactly, by this sterling piece of advice, we’re unsure of – keep extra stocks of elephant repellant handy, perhaps?)
When KNP Rangers tried to track down the culprit with a helicopter, it reached into the sky with its enormous trunk, pulled them spectacularly down, and trampled them underfoot, leaving behind a twisted, smoking wreck. Actually, that’s NOT TRUE: to their extreme good fortune, they couldn’t locate the beast.