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Media Release: SANParks responds to elephant public outrage

Date: 2014-01-16

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The South African National Parks (SANParks) has responded to a public outcry on its decision to euthanize an elephant that flipped over a vehicle belonging to a visiting British couple injuring the occupants on 30 December 2013. 

Speaking from the Kruger National Park, the Managing Executive of this iconic park, Mr. Abe Sibiya said the incident is a consequence of parks allowing people to enjoy the natural environment; unfortunately some do so in an irresponsible manner. “While it is expected in an environment such as the Kruger National Park that human and animal conflict will always occur, it is also vitally important that members of the public visiting various national parks should always adhere to the rules.”

Sibiya said while the park can understand the public outcry and anger towards the management, it is critical for the public to have confidence on the park management. “The park is managed by adequately qualified officials who are able to make informed and appropriate decisions at any given time.”

According to Sibiya the decision to euthanize the animal was not taken lightly but based on the information from our well experienced Rangers assessment the animal was likely to attack tourist vehicles in the future. “It is for this reason that we appeal to our patrons to act in a responsible manner and give such information as quick as possible rather than share it on social media platforms.” 

He said to bring closure to the matter; SANParks would need co-operation from the visitors that took the video. “The law stipulates that evidence such as this should be accompanied by a written statement from eyewitnesses as the footage cannot be the only permissible evidence in order to sanction any fine against the alleged perpetrators.” 

“Tourists need to change their behavior when on self-game drives… “we drive this message in our communication at check in points, on our brochures and on the permits. It is highly impossible to have constant policing on holiday makers as the parks resources are already stretched with many operations going on at the same time,” concludes Sibiya. 

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications 

For media enquiries:
Reynold Thakhuli
Acting Head of Communications, SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 0733734999



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