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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:46 am 
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For a few reasons, I wont go to KNP in December again if possible. One of those reasons is that there are just too many people. And too many cars. And that makes me uncomfortable, also for a few reasons.

Anyway, you dont hear about this sort of attack very much. Not when you consider the number of vehicles and the frenzied behavior of the humans in them.

I dont believe that the KNP staff just wondered over and shot the animal without some decision making process. And I dont believe that any of the deliberations involved appeasing visitors to the park. So I dont follow how the hero talk gets into the picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:10 am 
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Over the years we have had many "Close encounters of the grey kind" - most, but not all, caused by other people's inconsideration. Does the type/colour of car play a factor? Quite possibly as some years ago (+/- 20?) there was a spate of ellie attacks in KNP involving VW Beetles - for some reason the elephants were not impressed with that vehicle. Someone had a theory that the colour/shape of a vehicle that has harassed an elephant is imprinted on its brain and that in future anything resembling that is "attacked" or seen off.
The most nerve wracking experience that we have had was a couple of years ago at Bowkers Kop near Mopani when a large elephant bull came towards us being followed VERY closely by an elderly white Toyota Corolla (2 young male occupants) - trying to reverse was not an option as we were towing a large caravan. We pulled over to the opposite side of the road to the waterhole and switched off the engine. The elephant stood on the waterhole side of the road and waited until the idiots had passed him (they appeared to think that this was funny) and then turned his head to look at us - he was about 10m away but seemed closer. For what seemed hours we stared at each other and then he ambled off into the bush. A few descriptive words were uttered about the youngsters and we carried on to Tsendze. If he had decided to charge us, we would not have had a chance and all because of someone having "fun"............

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:20 pm 
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isinkwe wrote:
:hmz: Too many elephants in Kruger now? :hmz: Where are the unsuccessful and defeated Bulls to put all their testosterone and aggression :hmz:
Why is elephant aggression towards vehicles becoming more common(my own opinion) :hmz: Would be nice to know the stats of elephant attacks on vehicles over the last 25 years.


The stats will tell you nothing unless considered with the stats on numbers of visitors. I would bet that the number of visitors has increased over the last 25 years too . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Having just returned from our annual Kruger trip, never in all the years of visits have I ever seen such bad behavior from visitors. I am in the process of compiling a report and I am going to forward it to "the powers that be" just to name a few: tourists/visitors hooting at elephants ( a herd with a lot of little babies), tourists/visitors driving very, very close to an elephant just to get the perfect picture, people out of their vehicles at a leopard sighting arguing to move vehicles out of the way and so the list goes on, very sad :cry: :cry:

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Letaba 23 - 26 December 2014
Olifants 27 - 29 December 2014
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Berg en Dal 31 December 204 - 03 January 2015


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:37 pm 
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And the only law/rule enforcement that I came across was speed trapping right toward gate time toward camp and exits. So who is going to stop this and how?


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:47 am 
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The only "law enforcement" I saw was a car half hidden in the bush very close to the Phabeni gate, law enforcement officials/vehicles should be more visible ESPECIALLY in peak holiday times. :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:59 am 
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Also saw badly behaved tourists on H9 yesterday. :big_eyes:
They were hanging out of their windows trying to take photos of an Ellie who was obviously not happy. :sniper:
They then revved their engine and zoomed off up the road, leaving the poor innocent occupants of the next car to arrive, to bear the brunt of the Ellies temper!!! :wall:

We watched all this from a safe distance, and The Chick has videoed part of it, and has sent it to the correct place. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:03 pm 
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PNF wrote:
TD - hope that you managed to get a couple of pics to illustrate your report. It is this sort of behaviour that has sent us North and out of peak holiday season.......... but even then there are some idiots around :wall:


I have lots of pics and was met with lots of resistance at the mangers office when trying to report the bad behavior that I had witnessed BUT I love the park and I will be visiting again in December 2014, nothing will ever keep me away from the Kruger. December 2014 will see us in the north, less people=less idiots :D

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:26 am 
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We have just returned from a trip to Kruger and drove waterhole road the morning after this happened: as a little context, it was raining heavily the previous afternoon and evening, and the road surface was terrible in an SUV, can't imagine what it must have been like for them in a hatchback.

We drove past their smashed car (had no idea at that stage what had happpened - thankfully, as what came next would have terrified me even more had I known), then as we carried on towards the H1-1, we came across this and stopped. I've had my share of close encounters with ellies and would prefer never to be within a kilometre of them again, to be honest.

After 30 minutes, another 4 cars have gone past us and are waiting for him to move so they can carry on, but we decided to turn back, as he was clearly not going to move out of the road any time soon. As we started to turn, two similar size elephant come out into the road about 100 metres behind us and start walking towards to us in the road. We now have no choice but to move forward.

For the next 28 minutes (I counted) all five cars were stuck between a very slow moving enormous elephant in the road ahead, and 2 elephant moving slightly faster towards us from the rear. Absolutely terrifying, and the only reason we aren't in the same situation as those unfortunate people in the car is that these elephant were extraordinarily calm. Finally the lead elephant moved off the road enough that we could all get past.

I've never been more terrified, and yet I'm sure that anyone who came across the five cars with an elephant in front and 2 behind would have thought we were all idiots (the only photo I took was the one below just before we tried to turn around - I think anyone would agree that we were certainly giving that elephant ample space).


Image
IMGP1436 by MelissaL1, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:09 am 
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MelissaL - at least there was no-one being foolish and upsetting these ellies but can well understand how nervous you must have been......

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:23 am 
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I have to agree with the notion that the decision to shoot the elephant was not taken lightly. We forget that the shooting will be done by a ranger, not some field guide with only a FGASA certificate and nothing else to do.

These rangers are trained and work with things like this everyday. Their love for nature is what got them into the job in the first place.

I cant imagine that they particularly enjoyed shooting the elephant. I dont think the person who pulled the trigger felt like a hero. But thats just my opinion.

Whether they were right or not, I am just saying that surely some thought went into this and the thinking was done by people with more knowledge or experience than most of us on here.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:37 am 
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My neighbour in Kleinmond is Piet van der Hyde - ex-ranger in Kruger (see his photo in the Rabelais Hut where all ex-rangers of Kingfisherspruit are exhibited). It is lovely to talk to Piet about his experiences during his days as a ranger before he became part of the administrative personnel in Skukuza because of family circumstances.

He told me that he loved his job as a ranger, but the culling of elephants (those days they still culled to keep the population to about 7 000) was always a terrible time of the year. It was the one part of his job that he found difficult to associate with.

Trust me - rangers hate it to shoot magnificent animals like elephants, lions etc. But sometimes they have no option.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:43 am 
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http://www.news24.com/Travel/South-Africa/Tourist-recovering-after-elephant-attack-20140106

Johannesburg - Tourist Sarah Brooks who was attacked by an elephant in the Kruger National Park was recovering in hospital.

Brooks, a tourist from Britain, has been at Medi-Clinic hospital in Nelspruit since last week after the elephant, which was in musth, attacked her and fellow visitor, Jans de Klerk, at the N'waswitshaka waterhole, a Sapa correspondent reported.

They had been filming the elephant from their car when it tore down on them. It overturned the car and pushed it deep into the bush along the road. Brooks was injured when one of the elephant's tasks ripped through the back of her upper thigh, while De Klerk was unharmed, but in shock.

The two have refused all attempts to interview them. Sapa learnt from their Facebook profiles that De Klerk is a graduate of the Pro Arte school in Alphen Park, Pretoria, and now lives and works in Spalding in Lincolnshire in Britain.

Brooks, a Briton who also lives in Spalding, studied biomedical science at Northumbria University and is a teacher at Gleed Girls Technology College. Medi-Clinic spokeswoman Berdine Malan, said Brooks was in a stable condition, but was unable to say when she would be discharged from hospital.

In a controversial move, the KNP management shot and killed the elephant to prevent it from hurting other people. It's aggression was blamed on a combination of being in musth and also having an injury. The decision sparked an outcry on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The KNP spokesman William Mabasa said people should not be quick to criticise the decision. He said people should have more faith in the decisions made by officials with years of experience in the field. “Our rangers reported that the same elephant bull had been involved in previous fights with other dominant bulls since it has been in musth phase."

"The elephant showed very aggressive behaviour and had to be put down," Mabasa said. This was the third media report about elephants attacking tourists in the KNP during 2013. On Monday, December 9, an elephant was shot dead when it charged traffic officers on duty at least 3km from the Phalaborwa gate.

On Monday, April 15, a Polish and a Chinese visitor were injured when their vehicle was overturned by an elephant near Punda Maria. Mabasa advised tourists to maintain a safe distance between themselves and wild animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:44 am 
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Quote:
On Monday, December 9, an elephant was shot dead when it charged traffic officers on duty at least 3km from the Phalaborwa gate.


Is this perhaps discussed somewhere. I have missed this and would be interested on the full info.

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Berg en Dal 12-14 Dec
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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:01 am 
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Topic is here Stephan.

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