Elephant that killed man searching for cattle may 'have been harassed by
people before' (South Africa)
Kaveel Singh, News 24
September 12, 2022
for photo & audio of article.
Aggression brought about by poachers could be what caused a bull elephant
to charge at two men who entered the Pongola Nature Reserve in
KwaZulu-Natal last week, killing one of them.
Bhekisabelo Prince Nyawo and a friend were looking for their missing cattle
at the time, Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said on Monday.
He said the details were "fuzzy" but added: "At some point, they came
across a herd of elephants. All that is known is that the bull elephant
attacked the two men, and one person escaped unharmed. The second person
was, unfortunately, killed on the scene. The person who survived, alerted
the family of the deceased."
The family and members of the local community searched for Nyawo before
informing Ezemvelo of the incident on 7 September, just after midnight.
Ingwavuma police were alerted and it was decided to delay any rescue
attempts due to the presence of the herd of elephants at the scene.
Soon after, police search and rescue teams recovered Nyawo's body.
Mntambo said it was difficult to know what caused the attack but added that
there were several incidents in the area in which poachers shot elephants.
He said: “This has resulted in most elephants being unpredictable and
dangerous. The elephant that killed this person may have been in musth
(aggression mode), perhaps wounded, or might have been harassed by people
before the incident.”
"The elephants, though often seen roaming within Ezemvelo's Phongolo Nature
Reserve, belong to the adjacent private Pongola Game Reserve East," he said.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CEO Sihle Mkhize said they would "again initiate
engagement with the legal owners of these elephants so that they can be
"These elephants arrived in the area in October 2016 when they were herded
across the international border between SA and Eswatini," he said.
He conveyed his condolences to Nyawo's family.
"We are saddened by the loss of life inside our nature reserve. Our prayers
are with the family of the deceased. As an organisation, we shall support
the family of the deceased to the best of our abilities. We hope that this
unfortunate incident will serve to bring the community and the nature
reserve to work together so that we shall prevent such future incidents,"
Nyawo will be buried on Tuesday in Galweni, Ngwavuma.
He is survived by two children.