Elephants. The largest land animals on this earth, but known more commonly as the ‘gentle giants’ of this world.
As a keen wildlife enthusiast, past volunteer at a South African game reserve and a journalism student in utter adoration of elephants, I was (and still am) completely outraged after hearing that the Kruger National Park bull elephant has been killed due to, quite frankly, human error.
For those who don’t know the story, amateur footage emerged today of the bull elephant flipping over a tourist’s car with his tusks. Following this, the elephant has been killed due to what Kruger National Park’s general manager, William Mabasa, claimed to be behaviour ‘we did not understand’.
Now all reports claim that the elephant was drinking from a nearby waterhole when he ‘suddenly’ turned and attacked the car. As with everything there is always reason behind the name…gentle giants. An elephant would not simply turn and attack for no reason at all, and he certainly didn’t for any reason that justifies the elephant losing his life.
If those in the park were correctly informed they should have seen the several warning signs that the elephant gave prior to attack (as all elephants will do), warning the car to back away, however Miss Brooks chose to ignorantly ignore those and continue to persist the elephant, just for the sake of a camera shot.
Furthermore it is also possible that, as with a lot of wild animals, the elephant saw the vehicle simply for that…a vehicle. A lot of animals see the car but not the people, and as this car was constantly persisting the bull, he felt the need to use his strength to his advantage after feeling threatened by an alien object in his natural habitat.
It saddens me that animals are punished for protecting themselves in their own homes when humans try to invade.
National parks are supposed to exist to protect endangered wildlife from extinction from human expansion, and yet here we find an elephant’s life being lost because humans desire to, once again, invade animal’s natural habitat.