BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that an employee at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal was trampled to death by an elephant.
Reports have it that the woman was surveying indigenous plants when the incident happened.
Confirming this, police identified the woman as a 47-year-old Thembisile Msimango Mnchunu.
Speaking for the police, Captain Jabulane Mdletshe related that Mnchunu was strolling the Hilltop area with three male colleagues. They were surveying indigenous plants when four elephants suddenly charged at them.
“They ran away, taking different directions. The deceased, Thembisile failed to outrun the elephants. (They) caught up with her and stepped on top of her, fatally crushing her.”
The police captain added that “the three male co-workers managed to escape unhurt.”
Speaking, a disheartened Ezemelo KZN CEO David Mabunda wailed about the tragic incident. And, expressed his sympathies to the victim’s relatives.
Mabunda said: “Our condolences go to the family of our late colleague. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a loved one in this manner.
The incident reminds us of how unpredictable and dangerous our animals can be. We request all those who have been touched by this horrible accident to lift up the family of the deceased in their prayers.”
Meanwhile, SAPS in a separate statement, divulged that they re-arrested a wanted rhino poacher in Newlands East, Durban.
“The members of the Provincial Tracking Team worked around the clock tracing the suspect wanted for alleged poaching of rhinos and possession of rhino horn in November 2011.
A 43-year-old suspect, Suraj Rampersad was arrested and later released on bail in 2015 and was never back to court. A warrant for his arrest was issued and he has been on the run since last year evading the police.
Eventually, he was traced to Newlands East where he was re-arrested while withdrawing cash from an ATM machine. He is due to appear today in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court facing four counts of illegal rhino hunting, fraud and possession of rhino horns value at R100 000,” read the statement.
Commenting, KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Bhekinkosi Langa called on South Africans to report those who kill rhinos and dehorn them.