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Media Release: Field Ranger succumbs to injuries after accidental shooting

Date: 2016-01-14

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South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced the tragic passing away of a field ranger in the world famous Kruger National Park. Whilst on active anti-poaching patrol, the field ranger was accidentally shot by a colleague after they were charged by a lone buffalo bull at a very short distance in the Malelane section.

According to his colleague, the two were charged by a buffalo bull and in the ensuing confusion managed to find cover from where they attempted to neutralise the animal but unfortunately the deceased appears to have been caught in the cross fire and sustained a fatal bullet wound to his upper body. A doctor was immediately flown to the scene by SANParks helicopter. A fully equipped AMS medical emergency helicopter based at Nelspruit was also requested and immediately dispatched to the scene. The critically injured ranger was stabilized at the scene and flown immediately to the Nelspruit Medi Clinic. He was then rushed into theatre but tragically later succumbed to his injuries.  

Reacting to the news, SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni passed on his sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues. “It is a sad day for us as a family, we have lost one of our own, a dedicated colleague and friend who not only served the organisation but the entire globe to ensure the integrity of our natural heritage. We did all we could to save his life but unfortunately we lost him. We hope this tragic incident will inspire our colleagues to carry on with the sterling work he was doing in the field, so that his death is not in vain” concluded Mketeni.

The name of the deceased cannot be released as his next of kin have yet to be informed and his colleague is receiving trauma counselling.    

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170 

Media Enquiries: 
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999

William Mabasa
GM: Communications & Marketing, Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363; Cell: 082 807 3919

Ike Phaahla
SANParks Media Specialist
Tel: 012 426 5315; Cell: 083 673 6974



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