A field ranger at the Kruger National Park (KNP) has been severely injured after he was trampled by an elephant on Tuesday.
SA National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Ike Phaahla said the ranger was on patrol in the Pretoriuskop Section, in the southwestern part of KNP.
“The incident took place shortly after 8am in the morning. Preliminary reports suggest the injured field ranger was on patrol with his colleagues when a breeding herd of elephants crossed the road in front of them. One of the elephants turned back and charged the field ranger, which resulted in him sustaining serious injuries. His colleagues managed to rescue him by firing a warning shot at the elephant, which ran off, and they were able to immediately call for help.” he said.
A helicopter with a doctor and support team on board immediately responded.
The injured ranger was stabilised on the scene and transported by ambulance to the hospital for further medical attention.Head ranger Catherine Dreyer expressed relief that the field ranger was not fatally wounded.
“These are the daily dangers we face in protecting our natural heritage and the park from all wildlife crime,” said Dreyer.
“The possibility of being attacked by a dangerous wild animal is always present and, in some instances, unavoidable, especially with the bush being so thick during this time of the year. It makes it difficult to see animals from a distance.
“We are grateful though that we managed to stabilise our colleague and transport him to hospital, and we have him and his family in our prayers.”