South Africa: Kruger Park elephant euthanised after escaping into nearby village

Feb 14, 2024 | News

By Iavan Pijoos, News24

A Kruger National Park elephant was euthanised after it escaped into the village of Matsulu in Mpumalanga at the weekend.

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said it was alerted to the animal’s escape on Saturday morning.

Several videos and pictures of the elephant storming the village were widely shared on social media.

In a later video, a man can be seen using a chainsaw to cut up the elephant’s body after authorities had put it down, with bystanders cheering him on.

Matsulu is situated on the edge of the Kruger National Park, sandwiched between the Nsikazi and Crocodile rivers.

MTPA spokesperson Simphiwe Shungube said a team from the Damage-Causing Animals (DCA) Unit, led by Louw Steyn, was immediately dispatched when they got reports of the elephant being in Matsulu.

“The DCA was reinforced by an aerial team of field rangers using a chopper from the Kruger National Park.

“Due to the heavy presence of community members chasing after the elephant and throwing objects at it, it became difficult [for the] MTPA and Kruger National Park teams to manage the situation,” Shungube said.

He said police were later roped in to conduct crowd control while rangers tried to control the elephant.

“The elephant was already very aggressive, posing a future threat to the community. The elephant was pushed to an open field by the MTPA team led by Louw Steyn, and it was put down,” Shungube said.

The team retrieved ivory (tusks) from the animal’s carcass and left its body for the community to consume.

This was not the first time a wild animal was killed on the streets of Matsulu. In 2022, residents killed a leopard that had attacked and injured four people.

Please follow and like us: