South African National Park (SANParks) has confirmed that a ranger has been killed accidently by a colleague after a gun went off on Thursday. The two were being chased by a buffalo bull while on anti-poaching patrol.
“According to his colleague‚ the two were charged by a buffalo bull and in the ensuing confusion managed to find cover from where they attempted to neutralise the animal but unfortunately the deceased appears to have been caught in the cross fire and sustained a fatal bullet wound to his upper body‚” SANParks said.
A doctor was flown to the scene of the accident.
“The critically injured ranger was stabilised at the scene and flown immediately to the Nelspruit Medi Clinic. He was then rushed into theatre but tragically later succumbed to his injuries‚” SANParks said.
SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said, “It is a sad day for us as a family‚ we have lost one of our own‚ a dedicated colleague and friend who not only served the organisation but the entire globe to ensure the integrity of our natural heritage. We did all we could to save his life but unfortunately we lost him.
“We hope this tragic incident will inspire our colleagues to carry on with the sterling work he was doing in the field‚ so that his death is not in vain‚” Mketeni said.