Elephant flips over car with tourists in South African reserve

Elephant conservationists say demand for ivory remains high

An elephant in South Africa’s Kruger National Park flipped over a car with local tourists, three of who suffered minor injuries.

Elephant conservationists say demand for ivory remains highThe elephant was drinking water from a dam on Thursday, and then suddenly walked across to the car, which was on the opposite side, rammed into it and turned it over.

“There was a second vehicle present which managed to distract the elephant by making a noise. It turned and went back into the bush,” Kruger Park spokesman William Mabasa said.

A doctor was rushed to the site and determined that the three South African tourists had only suffered minor injuries, South African National Parks said in a statement.

The tourists said the elephant had shown no previous signs of being agitated.

In January, a British tourist was injured when an aggressive elephant bull gored her in the thigh. The animal was shot, but there were no such plans this time.

“[The elephant] was already gone by the time we arrived so we cannot hunt any elephant down,” Mabasa said.

More than 1.5 million people visit the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest wildlife reserves, each year.

Incidents with elephants are rare, but not unheard of, Mabasa said.

Guides in the park say male elephants can be aggressive when they are in heat.


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