Elephant tramples game ranger to death

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a game ranger, who was apparently trampled to death by an elephant.

Provincial police spokesman, Superintendent Abie Khoabane, said the matter was only brought to the attention of the police on Wednesday, the day after the incident.

He said Lawrence Mathebula, 46, and another game ranger saw some vultures hovering over an area in the Manyeleti Game Reserve near Bushbuckridge. They then decided to go and investigate.

"When they were about to reach the spot where the vultures were hovering an elephant bull came charging at them.

"They ran away and the elephant went away," said Khoabane yesterday.

The two rangers later returned to the site but the elephant charged at them again.

They ran in different directions this time but the elephant picked on Mathebula and kept on chasing him. His efforts to try and dodge it around the trees failed, prompting his colleague to call for help.

A number of rangers came and searched for Mathebula for hours hoping to find him alive. But unfortunately, this was not the case, as the elephant had trampled him to death

"The matter was only reported to us on Wednesday," said Khoabane.

Police have opened an inquest docket into the incident.