KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa – Two tourists visiting a national park were injured after an elephant charged and overturned their car.
The Polish man suffered broken ribs and the Chinese woman was also hurt when an elephant in the vast Kruger National Park in South Africa attacked the vehicle on a road yesterday.
An emergency medical team was sent by helicopter to the scene in the country’s flagship park.
Kruger National Park spokesman William Mabasa said: ‘We stay here every day. We meet elephants on the road. We basically give them space but tourists sometimes don’t.’
It is unclear why the elephant became aggressive, Mr Mabasa added. He is appealing to the public to be alert in Kruger park and try not to get too close if they see an elephant approaching on the road.
More than 1million people visit Kruger each year and incidents of this sort are rare but not unheard of with the animals who can flip cars and uproot trees with ease.
The last incident of this sort took place in November 2012, when an elephant overturned a car, injuring one passenger.
The male tourist was taken to Clinix Phalaborwa Private Hospital, near the park, and was said by an official at the hospital to be in critical condition with multiple rib fractures.
His female companion was also being treated there for a pelvis fracture, but her injuries were not said to be serious.
The hospital employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, added that officials planned to transfer the pair to a hospital in Pretoria.
The huge Kruger park lies in South Africa’s north-east, next to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.