Driver blamed as jumbo attacks tourists

via Driver blamed as jumbo attacks tourists – NewZimbabwe 21/09/2015

A VIDEO has emerged of another elephant attacking a tour vehicle in Zimbabwe – but the driver of the vehicle who appears to have recklessly followed the irritated animal may well be to blame.

The clip posted to YouTube by Frank Martin at the beginning of this month, opens with the angry-looking elephant warning off the vehicle.

As safari guests chatter excitedly in the back, the vehicle takes off across the sand towards the elephant, which trumpets and then charges.

For several seconds, there is the sound of screaming from the passengers and the noise of the elephant thrusting its tusks at the bars of the open vehicle. Then the elephant veers away from the vehicle while a guide gets out and points his gun.

“Don’t shoot him,” guests urge.

A man’s voice says: “Are you OK, people?

The caption to the video says it was taken in Gonarezhou National Park in dry southern Zimbabwe. It comes a few weeks after another video emerged showing an enraged bull charging a tour vehicle in Hwange National Park. The Hwange attack does not appear to have been provoked.

The video of the attack in Gonarezhou has provoked angry comments on social media, with some blaming the driver of the vehicle for following the animal.

Kruger National Park Accommodation said in a post to Facebook earlier this month: “We might have some careless visitors in our parks, but at least our guides aren’t this reckless!”

Zimbabwean guide Quinn Swales was attacked and killed by a lion he was tracking with guests in Hwange earlier this month. There was no suggestion he behaved recklessly.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    ZimTourist 5 years ago

    I would like to set the record straight on this incident from personal experience. At the outset, I would point out that we visited the same Lodge the day after this incident, were first time visitors there, and have no connection whatsoever with the Lodge and consequently have no reason to have bias in any direction. But when I see this kind of article and its implications it is important that the facts are set straight. We spoke with the Guide concerned the first day, who was understandably shaken about the whole incident. He told us what happened, and it was in no way played out as your article portrays. The next day we went on a game drive in the same area and saw for ourselves the place where the incident occurred. the road actually bends to the left and the vehicle was attacked by the Jumbo from the right side as the Guide drove to the left. As a point of correction he was avoiding the Jumbo, not driving towards it!. Secondly, on our own game drive from the same lodge, we were mock charged from the rear by what we assume was the same Jumbo in the same area. It came from behind us from 50 meters away with no warning whatsoever and entirely unprovoked. We can only assume the Jumbo must have had some particular reason to charge, as the many, many other magnificent animals we saw in our trip were not in any way acting in this manner.Both of the Guides on both these drives, in our opinion, acted totally professionally and did their utmost to avoid confrontation and to safeguard the well-being of their guests as a top priority. They did what they were supposed to do and did it well. It is implied from this article that the local Guide was reckless. That was not our experience at all. To sensationalize the incident with this kind of negative leaning, and without being exposed to the facts, does absolutely no good to the Tourism Industry in our country, and more specifically does a disservice to what I believe are a dedicated group of truly professional Guides operating from this Lodge.

    The most pertinent point we should also ask ourselves with this incident is, “Who is at fault here??”:

    a. Bearing in mind when one enters a National Park, we are entering the sanctuary set aside for the wildlife and therefore are in their”backyard” . Not ours.
    b. We are told there are 3 times more Jumbo in this particular Park at this time than the area can handle. I have no means to confirm this, but the significant degradation of the riverine mopani is evidence enough for me on this one.
    c. Evidently the reason for this overpopulation is that they have flocked there to escape rampant poaching and regional pressure and reduction of their natural habitat by man.

    I have no personal knowledge of the other hunting/guiding tragedies that have occurred and referred to in the article, and cannot comment on them or the circumstances. Any wildlife related death is awful. But as far as this incident, I feel we should ask, is it our collective fault as mankind or the animals’ that they are overpopulated in this area, and probably more than a little aggrieved with humans who chase them and try to snare or shoot them at every opportunity?. Think on that one. And do yourself a favour – while you still can, visit this magnificent part of our country . But remember its not a Zoo. And have the confidence to go out with a Guide such as we were exposed to. They are not clowns, Kruger!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Jules Hendry 5 years ago

    Are you absolutely sure of your facts? Why write an article like this having only seen a video? Did you verify the story with either the guide or the people who took the video who were in the vehicle? I was there the following day and your story seems somewhat different than the one I heard!

  • comment-avatar
    Old Man River 5 years ago

    Well, if the social media say it was the driver’s fault, it must be true, hey? No need for any further explanation!