Elephant turfing car at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park likened to rugby players lifting in line-out (Durban) 
June 20, 2022
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A bull elephant attacking a car with terrified occupants inside has been described as the equivalent of a rugby line-out.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said the occupants of a white Ford Figo had a close encounter with a bull elephant along the Hilltop Resort Memorial Gate road in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

According to Ezemvelo’s field ranger, who witnessed the incident, the driver of the Ford Figo observed a bull elephant on the road walking towards his car.

The occupants of a white Ford Figo had a close encounter with a bull elephant on the Hilltop Resort Memorial Gate road, inside the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Picture: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
As a regular visitor to the reserve, the driver noted that the bull elephant seemed relaxed and approached in peace.

Since he knew animals inside the park always have a right of way, the driver decided to move his car to the side of the road to let the elephant pass.

But as the elephant walked towards the car, it put its trunk on the bonnet. The driver tried to extricate his car from the situation.

“But the elephant reacted, and pushed its tusk through the passenger window shattering the glass. It lifted the car like rugby players do in a line-out and proceeded to throw the car into a ditch on the side of the road,” Ezemvelo said.

The elephant continued to push and attack the rear of the car, before stopping and backing off.

The occupants of a white Ford Figo had a close encounter with a bull elephant on the Hilltop Resort Memorial Gate road, inside the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Picture: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Field ranger Velenkosini Ntombela said even Mike Tyson in his prime would have been jealous of the speed displayed by the elephant. In the wink of an eye, the demolition was complete.

“The elephant backed away for a short distance, and the fight was over,” he said.

The elephant only moved away from the car when Ntombela discharged a warning shot as the elephant appeared to approach the car again, with the vulnerable and shaken occupants inside.

The warning shot sent it disappearing into the bush.

The occupants of a white Ford Figo had a close encounter with a bull elephant on the Hilltop Resort Memorial Gate road, inside the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Picture: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Ezemvelo told the occupants, who were lucky to escape unharmed, to jump into his car.

They were also assisted to remove some of their belongings from the car before being driven to the memorial gate to make alternative arrangements to go home.

Later, a tow-truck removed the car from the scene.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife acting chief executive Ntsikelelo Dlulane expressed his relief that there was no loss of life, as it could have easily turned ugly.

“I am also thankful that both occupants survived the ordeal without any visible injuries.

“My appreciation goes to Mr Ntombela who remained calm under the trying circumstances. We would never know what could have happened had he panicked,” Dlulane said.
 

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