Rampaging bull elephant flips over British tourist car in Kruger Park

Video footage shows terrifying moment that saw a Lincolnshire woman gored in the leg by the animal's tusks

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 15 January 2014 09:14 GMT
The moment the elephant overturns a car
The moment the elephant overturns a car

Footage has been captured of the moment a huge bull elephant turned on a British couple in South Africa, flipping their car upside down.

Sarah Brooks, 30, from Spalding in Lincolnshire, was in the car with her fiancé when they drove up behind the animal in the Kruger National Park.

When the elephant stopped and, according to the park's manager, started "giving them lots of warning signs", the couple tried to keep as quiet as possible by shutting off the engine.

The incident was filmed by a car of South African tourists behind, one of whom can be heard saying: "Reverse, reverse... they're going to die."

The bull then used his trunk and tusks to flip the car several times and, according to reports in The Telegraph, ended up pushing it a full 40 metres from the road.

Ms Brooks suffered a wound to the back of her thigh from one of the elephant's tusks, but otherwise the couple escaped unharmed. They have extended their stay in South Africa to allow the injury to heal.

William Mabasa, general manager at Kruger National Park, confirmed that the amateur footage posted online showed an incident that occurred on 30 December.

He said the elephant had been on "musth", a periodic condition which raises testosterone up to 60 times its normal level.

"Unfortunately we had to put down the elephant because we did not understand the behaviour," he added.

While the incident could have been avoided, Mr Mabasa said, he warned that the couple should not be judged because their instinct under stress was "to stay quiet and still".

He advised other visitors that the best way to avoid injury in the national park was to keep a safe distance. "It's a big animal," he said. "There's no need to get close."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in