Tourist trampled to de@th by elephants in front of his fiancee after stopping to take pictures in South Africa

Tourist trampled to de@th by elephants in front of his fiancee after stopping to take pictures in South Africa

A Spanish tourist was crushed to de@th by an angry herd of elephants after he got out of his car to take photographs in a South African game reserve.


The tourist was driving around with his fiancee and two other visitors around the Pilanesberg National Park on Sunday, July 7, when he stopped and got out of the car.


Despite warnings from his three fellow passengers to get back into the car the tourist, aged 43, said he wanted to get close-ups of the six elephants.


According to Mail Online, a huge 3.5-ton adult female cow protecting the young members of the herd charged at the man and she was joined by the other two adult bulls who also attacked.


The screaming Spaniard was racing back with his camera to safety through the bush to his friends in the car but was overtaken by the chasing herd who knocked him down and trampled him to de@th.


It was gathered that the man was on holiday from Spain with his fiancee and was with two of her South African friends from Johannesburg when the tragedy happened on Sunday morning.


A North-West Parks & Tourism Board spokesman said: ‘The elephants moved away immediately from the scene without any aggression towards the nearby vehicles and disappeared in the bushes.


‘The guest was a male Spanish citizen who had entered Bakgatia Gate with three friends and not far from the gate had come across a breeding herd of elephants feeding a distance from the road.


‘According to eyewitnesses the man decided to alight from the vehicle and approach the elephants on foot taking pictures.


‘Despite warnings from his fellow passengers and occupants from two other vehicles that were at the sighting he unfortunately did not heed the warnings.


‘An adult elephant charged at the man who then ran from the elephant.


‘He was unfortunately not able to escape or evade the elephant which was now joined by the whole herd. He was caught and trampled to de@th.


‘Park officials were alerted and immediately rushed to the scene to aid the affected persons, secure the scene and assist with the investigation.


‘Statements by witnesses who observed the whole incident further suggest the female elephant that charged and attacked might have done so to protect the herd and young ones.


‘The case has been handed over to the police for further investigation,’ said Pieter Nel, Acting Chief Conservation Officer for the NW Parks & Tourism Board.


He further stressed that all tourists are warned not to get out of their cars and that information is printed on their entry tickets which is not just for the safety of the guests but also the animals.


Mr. Nel added: ‘The Board is very saddened by this tragic accident and would like to express their sincere condolences to the deceased’s next of kin and friends’.


A park ranger speaking on condition of anonymity said: ‘It was a very stupid thing to do and the tourist was literally shouted at to get back in his car but wanted to get photographs of the herd.


‘He had walked too far away off the road to be able to make it back to the car in time when he charged. His friends were in a hysterical state and needed immediate expert counselling.


‘There was not much left to identify. The victim had been trampled into the ground. Sadly despite all the warnings people still get out to take photos but most are lucky enough to get away with it.


‘The herd were not to blame and were acting entirely as normal when they felt a threat to their young. Indeed they passed right past the car with the three of his friends in when they left’ he said.


North West Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said:’According to information received the man was with his fiancée and two other females in their own vehicle.


‘They allegedly spotted three elephants and three calves. Reports suggest that the man stopped the vehicle, alighted and went closer to the elephants to take pictures.


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