South African elephant put down after it attacks vehicle, injures woman

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 11:18pm


An elephant was put down in South Africa's Kruger National Park after it attacked and overturned a vehicle, ripping open a British woman's thigh with its tusk, park authorities said.

The bull elephant charged the car of a couple filming it in the huge wildlife reserve on Monday.

"It suddenly stopped, turned around and rapidly walked towards the vehicle which was stationery at that time," the park authorities said on Tuesday.

"The elephant charged at them, attacked the vehicle and flipped it over off the road into the thick bushes."

The couple was airlifted from the scene, stabilised, and then flown to a nearby hospital.

"The female tourist was seriously injured by one of the elephant's tasks which perforated and ripped open the back of her upper thigh," said the park.

The woman is a British citizen. The man, who suffered minor injuries, is a South African living in Britain.

The elephant was put down and was discovered to have been in musth, a condition that usually affects males once a year when testosterone levels, aggression and sexual activity increase. The "abnormal behaviour" was also likely to have been a result of an injury the elephant had suffered.

"Tourists are requested to always keep a safe distance at any animal sighting," the park said in a statement.