Minister visits 'remarkably brave' field ranger severely injured in Kruger
National Park elephant attack
Lisalee Solomons, News24
January 21, 2023
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy on
Saturday visited the South African National Parks (SANParks) field ranger
57-year-old Joe Nkuna who was airlifted to hospital after sustaining severe
injuries in an elephant attack more than a month ago.
Nkuna, a ranger with 32 years of experience, was hospitalised after being
charged by an elephant while patrolling the Pretoriuskop section of the
"The severity of his injuries resulted in him being placed on life support
in the Intensive Care Unit at a private hospital in Johannesburg where he’s
making a steady recovery. The medical team is pleased with his progress and
is excited that he will be starting physiotherapy soon," spokesperson Ike
The Minister said she was "delighted" to find Nkuna in good spirits and
feeling hopeful about his recovery prospects.
"I [came to]remind him [that] he is part of the conservation family [and]
to wish him well as he recovers from his injuries," Creecy said.
She added that what happened to Nkuna was tragic and that rangers are
"Mr Nkuna is a remarkably brave man. He has endured multiple surgeries
since the accident; but he’s told me he can’t wait to get back in the bush
patrolling, doing the job he is very passionate about. Rangers are our
heroes and face danger every time they go into the bush to perform their
duties, " Creecy added.”