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Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Discuss current issues and events happening in the parks.
Safari Gal
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Safari Gal » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:14 pm

From the reports I believe that they were following the elephant down the road "taking videos" of the elephant prior to the attack? I think that their video will tell it all? Has anyone asked to see that video I wonder?? Still cant believe that a magnificent bull elephant had to be put down because of this - but then again, I wansnt there at the time so cannot judge the actual circumstances - just so, so, sad.
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby IBmit » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:52 am

Shutterbug wrote:For all we know the couple in the VW might have done everything by the book, their car could have stalled in their panic to give the elephant some space, there could have been another elephant behind them or maybe the driver was not very skilled in backing-up, the fact is at this point the only things we can be pretty sure of is that the couple did not want to get attacked by an elephant and the elephant did not want to die, very sad for everyone.


A tip from my side...always have a forward facing option when close to elephant. Rather follow the elephant in reverse, letting a passenger handle the video camera, in this way, should the animal decide to charge, you only need to select a forward gear and you have a clear route to get out of harms way.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby robertwintle » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:05 am

On our first visit to the park many years ago we had an experience with a youngster as well. We waited quite a distance away from the herd crossing the road to go to the Sabie River. When the cars infront of us left we just moved into there place and wanted to take a photo of the ellies between the road and the river. Once of the youngsters got irritated and charged the car. Fortunately I did what my friends told me to do and we avoided and issues in this case. Glad that we have never had a nightmare incident like the people in the VW Polo, it would have scared the daylights out of me and caused a wildlife crazy family to stop going to the park. Hope the tourists will recover and come back to the park again. Just absolutely sorry the ellie had to be put down.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby hilda » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:27 pm

I have once read somewhere (can't remember if it was on the Forums), that some cameras make a high-pitched noise when in use, which the human ear cannot hear, but that sound irritates the Elephants, and maybe other animals as well, immensely. That could be the reason why an Elephant charged us a few years ago near Biyamiti. :shock:
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Nkulu » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:35 pm

Code: Select all

A tip from my side...always have a forward facing option when close to elephant. Rather follow the elephant in reverse, letting a passenger handle the video camera, in this way, should the animal decide to charge, you only need to select a forward gear and you have a clear route to get out of harms way.


Good tip, however ........... came round a bend on a winding dirt road and almost into the middle of a breeding herd of ellies :big_eyes: ...not even when doing my driver's test could I reverse so perfectly, and quickly
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby robertwintle » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:51 pm

Hi Hilda,

Yes that is exactly what happened to me in my post a bit higher up. My wife took the photo and the zoom has a high pitch. But our experience close to Biyamiti when an Ellie charged us there were no cameras in use, it just charged through a burnt veld and trumpeted like crazy. I changed cars and the colours of my car and now my daughter-in-laws brother who bought my old vehicle has the issue with the gold Fortuner as Ellies now charge him so it might also be type and colour of vehichle that irritate them - just a guess.

Regards,

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Weltenman » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:20 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:
IBmit wrote:A tip from my side...always have a forward facing option when close to elephant. Rather follow the elephant in reverse, letting a passenger handle the video camera, in this way, should the animal decide to charge, you only need to select a forward gear and you have a clear route to get out of harms way.


Agreed. IF I CAN, I pass the herd/bull and then we take the photos. And it was the correct choice on some occasions. :wink:



Good tips, but not always possible. We recently passed 3 elephant bulls on a dirt road, they were quite close to the road so we passed with caution and was relieved to have been able to pass them, only to find another BIG bull right next to the road 30 metres and around the next bend. We could not see what is around the bend we had just passed and couldn't pass the bull as he was right on the road. Had to wait around 30 minutes for the bull to decide the leaves are a little sweeter into the bush before we could sneak past....I have daytime nightmares thinking about the consequences if the bull decided to play chicken with us, as I had no intention if turning back to the 3 bulls we had passed earlier, but didn't really want to sit there playing chicken either... :D :hmz:
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Weltenman » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:26 pm

Meandering Mouse wrote:The person attacked is often not the person who has caused harm. My most frightening encounter with an ellie was when a car filled with tourists went to close to a breeding herd with a very tiny baby. The video cameras were rolling, the arms and torsos were out of the window and the occupants came right into the ellies face. :sniper:

I was a fair distance behind, but by the time I reached the herd, the mother was furious. She came out charging and trumpeting, ready for a fight. I have seldom been so terrified. In the meanwhile, the guilty parties were way up the road, unaware of putting others in a life threatening situation.



I somehow caused that for a fellow driver, was on the road to Punda Maria camp and the open bush we could see a elephant some way off the road looking peaceful and relaxed. For some reason he took offence to our car and started walking briskly towards the road, head swinging from side to side and in no mood to play, but we just kept at the same speed and passed him quickly and with no hassles. Unfortunately a car was passing us from the front and he drove right into the elephant's path now standing on the road and being all disgusted with the world. The elephant quickly moved off after a display of power but I am sure the other driver was swearing at us, even though we did nothing to provoke the elephant, unless driving along is provoking. :hmz:
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby saraf » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:30 pm

On our last visit we went round a bend and were confronted with a rather large elephant on one side of the road and an emergency ambulance coming towards us - lights and sirens so obviously on an emergency call. We stopped to let the ambulance pass and prayed the elephant wasn't spooked. Nothing else we could have done and luckily the elephant stayed calm. We got lucky.
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:29 pm

On the same theme as EJ, I notice many people drive with bright headlights on during the day which is fine on the open road but we have found that some ellies definitely don't like that and could well take exception.
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby zivvy&muffin » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:58 pm

ecojunkie wrote:My theory is that elephants sometimes get upset by the flash of sunlight reflecting from cars (wndow/mirror/body) and could also explain why some colours, for example, are more likely to upset them (they reflect more). Just driving back from Malelane this morning I was dazzled by a few vehicles in front of me and hated it.....imagine an ellie getting the same effect and not knowing what it is other than that it is annoying.


Very good point, had never really thought about this.
Yet another reason to keep the side windows down and my wing-mirrors tucked in.

I will factor in the refecting windshield risk if/when approaching ellies and buffalo into the sun in early morning or late afternoon.

PS. It does drive me nuts, as a driver, being startled by headlights from oncoming vehicles during broad daylight in KNP. I charitably tell myself they must have been on since gates open and forgotten to turn them off, but I sometimes have my doubts.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Stark » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:23 pm

My last rental had LED lights that were on all the time. Luckily no Ellie's seemed to mind/notice.
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby richardharris » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:22 pm

A lot of cars now have headlights that cannot be turned off - for safety reasons! Perhaps not so safe at times!

Having been going to the Park for 26 years now, I have noticed a definite change in behaviour. I am now more wary of elephants. Thankfully by far and away the majority do not want to attack us. Several times I have been caught out be a breeding herd who pass by very peacefully - especially if I was parked up, engine off, when the herd appears all around!

If driving past it is often the teenagers who seem most upset - perhaps like humans, with something to prove!

Why the change in behaviour? Too many tourists is definitely a factor - their behaviour is noticeably worse for a period after a peak visitor time. And sadly, visitor stupidity. Most trips I will see at least one car too close, making noises etc. Enough too annoy anyone. NOT that this is a comment on the current incident - I have no idea of what actually happened.

I have met people who won't approach an elephant close than a kilometre - this is excessively cautious! But pay them due respect!

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby Spikes » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:13 pm

Nkulu wrote:
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
MEDIA RELEASE

ELEPHANT ATTACK AND INJURED TOURISTS



Once again an animal must die because of man's stupidity!


If man kill an animal he becomes a hero and he/she boasts about it. If an animal only hurts a human - he gets killed.

Sorry SANParks but I strongly disagree. People are looking for trouble by trying to get close to animals and they do not act on the warning signs - ie ears flapping, trunk up.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread postby saraf » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:15 pm

No one is trying to make anyone a hero in this situation, Spikes.
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