British tourists' car flipped by elephant on safari in Kruger National Park


Elephant flips car of British tourists on safari in Kruger National ParkBarcroft

British tourists on a safari in South Africa were left traumatised this week after an elephant bull charged their car and flipped it over.

The bulky bull elephant is believed to have pierced its tusk through a passenger door before scooping it onto the roof.

Eyewitness Vasti Fourie, who was travelling in a convoy through Kruger National Park, said
Chris Hare, 40, and fiancée Helen Jennings, 40, were a British couple on holiday celebrating their engagement.

Moments before flipping this car, the enraged elephant rammed and lifted a Chevrolet Aveo hatchback, before placing it back on the ground.

Seconds later the elephant then turned its attention to the British holidaymakers, who were travelling in a Hyundai Atos through Kruger National Park on Monday, 12 November, when the incident happened.

Ms Fourie, who captured the events leading up to the car flip, said: "It charged towards the side of the car, lifted it up with its tusk, dropped it on its roof and calmly walked away.

"It all happened so quickly. Once we drove around the corner, the driver of the flipped car was kneeled down in shock.

"That's when I realised what had happened."

She added: "They were spending three days in Kruger National Park before flying on to Durban. They had just got engaged.

"I've never seen anything like this before in my life and I'm sure they haven't either."

Elephant flips car of British tourists on safari in Kruger National ParkBarcroft

Mr Hare, who suffered minor injuries, told "When I came around the bend, the big guy was right in front of us. He walked towards us and I pulled off the road."

"The elephant appeared to walk past the car but then turned back, pushing a tusk against the passenger door and rolling the car.

"It was terrifying and I just thought: 'But it can't be possible that this is happening.'"

Sally Kernick of Lukimbi Safari Lodge told the couple were too scared to drive out alone in the park (on Wednesday morning) and had to be accompanied.

Lerato Mathole, acting Communications Officer for Kruger National Park, said they are not sure what triggered the elephant charge, but that they suspect it may have something to do with a previous injury.

Park rangers said they later found blood on the car, and thought the elephant might have been suffering with a tooth abscess.

Mr Mathole added that elephants could mock charge if they felt threatened, but said that incidents like this were very rare.

Strangely, on the very same day, a German woman had to be airlifted to hospital from the Kruger National Park after being charged by a rhino.

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