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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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I drove on the S1 on Friday morning 27th December.
There was an extremely aggressive elephant bull walking along the road. As i came up towards the elephant a driver in another car said he had tried to pass the ele for at least 3km and it kept charging his car and wouldnt let him pass.
I didnt hang around for long as i had my kids with me. So i reversed a bit and turned around and drove off.
Could well be the same one.

But to be honest this doesnt surprise me.
The park is way too overcrowded. Particularly at this time of year.
And i think the elephants get very stressed by the additional traffic.

There were 2 incidents that i saw over xmas of members of the public not respecting elephants.
One was of a car blocking a herd from crossing a road.
And the other was of a driver purposefully teasing and trying to drive into an elephant bull to get a reaction.
I reported both incidents.


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:40 pm 
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Nkulu wrote:
Quote:
T
Once again an animal must die because of man's stupidity!


have you been there? No? then how do you know the animal had to die because of man's stupidity?! you know, whenever there is an incident between humans and animals in which either (or both) are harmed, some people just assume it must be (no doubt about it!) the human's fault, it simply cannot be because we are talking about wild animals which at times show unpredictable behaviour! personally, I find this kind of attitude rather...

with this elephant in particular there are other reports which claim that he had acted aggressively towards cars before, in particular after he had been in a fight with another elephant bull - but I assume that he had been in this fight is also man's fault


Last edited by saraf on Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Removed a discourteous remark.


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Agreed with Yoda
Tourist seem to forget that elephants can very dangerous and do not give them enough space
And then you still have the unhappy, maybe unpredictable elephant
For whatever reason.
I give them all the space they need and will rather turn back then to pass a unhappy elephant (herd)

And a elephant who has already charged and attacked a vehicle could do this again.
So understand the action taken.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Agreed, yoda and bert.

I'm very cautious and respectful around elephants - mostly from the knowledge that has been shared about them on here.

It's a sad turn that people were hurt and the ellie was put down, but we are there (in their realm) to have some sort of connection and interaction with the wildlife of KNP. Human/animal conflict is bound to happen, and we must take precautions to keep our impact on the behavior and psyche of animals to a minimum.

Thoughts and prayers are with the injured KNP visitors and with the rangers that had to make the hard choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Please try and stay polite and courteous on this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:45 am 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
I do not know what the current poaching situation is doing. I do wonder whether they are more alert and aware of danger.


MM - as Elephants are very very intelligent we must assume that they are aware of this and that it is affecting their behaviour and attitude towards "outsiders" (us, the tourist)
Like you, we have also witnessed the stupidity of some people close to elephants and have also been the unwitting "victim" of close encounters that occurred because of other people not obeying the rules or not reading/understanding the guidelines that are given to one at the entrance gate.

Trust that the couple make a full recovery and that they will return to KNP in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:45 am 
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I agree. I have noticed over the last decade what seems like an increase in adverse resopnse to human presence. I have been wondering whether it is a combination of the behaviour of a large number of tourists when seeing elephant and the tension created by poaching; It is as though they need more space now. There needs to be a great deal more education in this respect I think. Possibly a pamphlet headed' Elephant Facts' or similar, with lots of interesting info, but also safety info, issued to all tourists at all gates, maybe with simple graphics on the safety issues to help non-english speakers. It could be produced in several languages of course. II hope we shall soon hear that the couple involved in yesterdays incident are recovering well.


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:19 am 
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It's very sad to hear about this incident,but for me as well;this time of the year the park is too busy and therefore I believe the animals is more irritated. :x Not everyone respects the fact that we are only "Visitors". Scary to read how many people do all the wrong/stupid things to get the attention of the animal for the sake of a photo.....! :evil: :twisted: What a shame that the Ellie had to be put down. :sniper: :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:29 am 
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Hippotragus wrote:
Salamanda - in the present pamphlet handed out at all the gates with the entry permit there is a section on how to behave near elephants - along with other do's and don'ts and other useful general information.

People are just too lazy or disinterested to read the information - they probably just shove the pamphlet into a cubby-hole in the dashboard and continue on their way.


Do you mean the section in the "Conditions of entry" pamphlet? I think you are right, very few people read that because their permits are clipped to them and it looks like a sort of 'permit wallet with rules' As we see , people often don't like rules, or feel that they should be for others but not themselves as they know better. This is the reason I suggested a separate, (maybe photocopied ) pamphlet with lots of interesting facts about elephants which might entice more people to read it and hence come to the human behaviour vs the elephants section . . . . However, as the rules are in the green one, it would I guess be overkill.


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:59 am 
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The elephant was in musth, to suggest that the attack was the fault of the vehicle occupants is very short sighted. They may have been at fault, but the fact that the elephant was in musth does change the factors that led to this attack.

Sometimes even when we are being very careful you cannot help but be very close to an elephant. I also keep my distance when in the KNP, but the past trip could not help but be close to an elephant.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:22 pm 
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Weltie is correct. Bull eles in musth are very irritable.

I was on a night ride where the guide had to take action with an ele in musth.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:15 pm 
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After reading all the comments in this thread, I still have a bad feeling about the idea that the ellie "had to be put down". :hmz: Surely you don't want to put down all bulls in musth? The goal of a major wildlife sanctuary like Kruger should be to protect the animals in the first place. I'm afraid we have to face the fact that the density of visitors may be too high to be good.

This is aggravated by the fact that many visitors apparently are not at all interested in animal behaviour and show no respect for nature. I also do not understand the action of people that harass animals by following them on close distance to make video or photo's. Suppose you would be followed on close range by a person with a video camera, stalking you while you are walking on the street - wouldn't you get angry? :twisted:
Perhaps camera's should be banned much like weapons?

I wish a good recovery to the injured people, and my best wishes to all forumites and nature lovers! :thumbs_up:

Lucbo


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Wild animals are just that - wild and unpredictable. A lot of experienced guides and rangers have been caught out by sudden changes in animal behaviour. And who of us have never had a close encounter with an elephant, through no fault of our own?

The rangers in Kruger are highly trained and I'm sure the action they took was considered to be appropriate to the situation that they found. The very last thing they want to do is shoot any animal but if the situation called for it then they do what is right.

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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Well said Sarah :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:37 pm 
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I would like to agree with the people here saying that its not always human's fault. I was in the park myself the last week or so and one animal I never mess with is an elephant. Other people always laugh at me when we are near elephants because I always keep a distance and then yet another distance and I would not drive within a 10 meter radius of an eating elephant (a sign that he is still ok and relaxed) and even by keeping these distances I had an incident or two myself where I came across an angry ellie showing me ears and mock charging.

Sometimes you get aggressive behavior even when you give them space... There is a video available showing an elephant charging a car from out of nowhere when the car was just driving by not mocking the animal at all.

You get situations where you can't control how close you are to an elephant, you drive around a corner or make a turn on a small gravel road and the next thing an elephant is right in front of you


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