Kruger insists safety procedures are adequate after elephant incident

Jan 16, 2014

The Kruger National Park says it cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of tourists who do not follow the park’s safety regulations.

William Mabasa, GM: Communications and Marketing at Kruger National Park, told Tourism Update that visitors to the park were provided with a brochure with general rules, including that people should keep a safe distance from animals.

“If you stick to the rules that we give you, you will be safe,” said Mabasa. He said visitors to the park who go on activities such as walking safaris, are required to sign indemnity forms. However, Mabasa said this was not required for people self-driving the park.

Earlier this week, News 24 reported that Mabasa said the park had “no regrets” after killing an elephant that had overturned a vehicle. "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,” Mabasa was quoted as saying.

Video footage of the incident, submitted to the news agency, shows the vehicle driving close to the elephant, despite the elephant displaying signs of agitation.

After the incident, Dr Michelle Henley of conservation group Save the Elephants, said tourists should exercise caution near male elephants in musth. “You have to be doubly cautious when you see an elephant in musth,” Henley told IOL. “They are far more aggressive because their testosterone levels are very elevated.”

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