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Elephant Attack on Vehicle

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

Unread post by Oryx » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:27 pm

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."


Ummm, that is how the elephant social system actually works!

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Carol g
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by Carol g » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:45 pm

I'm sure Sanparks would not have put down that Ellie if it was not absolutely necessary. I too don't like hearing about an animal having to be put down, but sometimes there is no alternative.
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Yoda
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by Yoda » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:00 am

I agree that the decision to shoot the elephant wasnt taken lightly.

Elephants are quite inteligent, and once an elephant "learns" a behaviour trait, it will often repeat it.
Not that this elephant would have definately gone on to attack every car on sight, but the possibility does exist.

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:54 am

With all the info on this thread I would like to speculate. I know that is not liked, but based on info gleaned over years;

Any wounded animal is not in the best of humour, and anything can make it ratty.
Same with an ele beaten in a dominance fight.
Eles in musth are aggressive and 'ready for action'.

Now you come tootling innocently along.......
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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moobox
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by moobox » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:46 pm

I believe that is all that we can do here, is speculate. I dont know if questioning SANPark decision and action over here is going to do any good. I think that there are enough people working at SANParks (and in the conservation space in general) who have the animal's best interest at heart and they would have obstructed the putting down if they felt it was not necessary.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by lucbo » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:12 pm

There have been precedents. The New York Times reported in 2006 that the year before, officials in Pilanesberg shot three young male elephants who were responsible for the killings of 63 rhinos, as well as attacks on people in safari vehicles.
Cases of elephants goring and killing rhinoceroses without provocation in national parks have been documented and attributed to musth in young male elephants. Since the early 1990’s, for example, young male elephants in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve have been raping and killing rhinoceroses according to a 2001 study in the scientific journal Pachyderm ("Killing of black and white rhinoceroses by African elephants in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa" by Rob Slotow, Dave Balfour, and Owen Howison. Pachyderm 31:14–20, 2001).
This abnormal behaviour seems to occur especially in young bulls growing in the absence of older males. It has been suggested that after standing down to a dominant bull, the rush of testosterone causing musth in the younger male stops, in some cases in a matter of minutes. The cue to turn off the testosterone comes from getting bonked. So biologists suggested reintroducing a group of elders into Pilanesberg and after this was done, the killing of rhinoceroses stopped. The verdict: the young elephants went wild mostly because there were no older elephants around to keep them in check.

However, in our case, the bull apparently had already confronted a dominant one ...

andrew1nesbitt
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by andrew1nesbitt » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:07 pm

Hi

This maybe the video, it seems that the injured had plenty of time to retreat

http://www.news24.com/Travel/Multimedia ... r-20140113

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topgunhorse
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by topgunhorse » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:11 pm

If an rogue elephant has to be shot for the safety of visitor, then it is sad but necessary.
This elephant wasn't "rogue", he was walking away minding his own business!!!
Bad call Sanparks.
What elephant, rhino or buff wouldn't react the same to being harassed like that! :evil:
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If you want to go far, go together.

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forestgump
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by forestgump » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:15 pm

They pushed their luck in my humble opinion, that elephant did not just charge unexpectedly.
Should not have been put down. :naughty: Was not a rogue elephant.

Elephant gave them signals to got out of there.They ignored his warnings. :wall: :wall:
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Yoda
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by Yoda » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:50 pm

wyld@hrt wrote:The clip is certainly informative and does appear to dispel the thought that the elephant was inordinately aggressive towards the vehicle to begin with. The vehicle had ample space to manouvre and ventured too close and even then, they did have an opportunity to reverse out the situation when the bull turned around at 1st but they didnt (inexperience?).

However, even once they hadn't moved they still did have the opportunity to get out of what was an increasingly precarious position. At 1min04 in the clip the ellie had moved onto the side and even had his back turned (1st gear and a heavy foot at that point would've gotten them at least a chance to get away) but you will notice that at 1min06 the ellie suddenly turns around as if he's been agitated even more and even then, he did not attack immediately.

Have to chalk this desperate incident down to human error, inexperience and freezing at the wrong moment unfortunately and sadly a magnificent creature had to pay the ultimate price.


Having watched the video a few times, I have to agree 100%.
At the start of the incident, there was nothing in the behaviour of the elephant to indicate that it was being overly aggressive. A normal bull walking down the road.
BUT, the car was following it much too closely, and when the driver had an opportunity to drive away, he didn't.
Clearly the driver had no experience in dealing with elephants, and sorry to sound harsh, but was totally stupid and to the point of idiotic.

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Morkel777
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by Morkel777 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:43 pm

Well the video ends all speculation and giving the injured people the benefit of the doubt.
They placed themselves at risk, ignored the MANY warning signs the bull was giving them, ignored the chance they could take to drive past when he moved off the road and came up next to them, and brought serious injury to themselves and death to another magnificent Kruger bull. I say ban them from the Park. :evil: :wall: :rtm:
Planning the next trip already...

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by judik » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:31 pm

That settles it.
Too bad we can't have instant replays when an animal is put down :(
After watching the video it appears to me that the couple had at least 3 chances to get away;not only that in the beginning they were advancing slowly while the ellie was moving slowly towards them.What the heck?
That couple were extraordinarily lucky to not be more seriously injured or even lose their lives over their poor judgement and ignorance
On prior visits i have exercised caution almost to the point of paranoia when around elephants; my husband never got it because he isn't on this forum reading the stories
Now he does
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by melissal » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:14 am

Wow, that makes me feel physically sick to watch, I was yelling at the laptop screen for them to just drive now when he was next to them shaking his head. Almost looked like the car was turned off at that stage - the brake lights had gone out but they weren't moving at all. Must have been so terrifying.
Next trip: Berg-en-Dal Dec 21-22; Bateleur Dec 23-26; Mopani Dec 26-30; Skukuza Dec 30 - Jan 1

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moobox
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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by moobox » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:01 am

Maybe the car stalled. Maybe the driver got such panic and froze. Maybe the elephant had some previous irregular behavior. Maybe the elephant had an injury which I think I read in one of the previous reports. Then again, maybe none of this. But I dont know.

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Re: Elephant Attack on Vehicle

Unread post by RobertT » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:30 am

stephan groen wrote:http://www.news24.com/Travel/South-Africa/Tourist-recovering-after-elephant-attack-20140106

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.


:slap: :slap: :wall: :wall: :pray: :pray: Perhaps if the decisions made were done after proper investigation and not knee jerk reaction. After watching the video, all I can ask is HOW did they come to that conclusion? It is no point banning those people from the park (they probably would not be back anyhow) they should be fined heavily for the life of the ellie (if you can put a value on a life of an ellie) and that money goes towards educating others.
As for people criticising the decision, I believe it was vindicated judging by the video.


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