Kruger National Park officials received reports that the bulls had escaped from the park and entered Matsulu Village, which is one of the neighbouring communities on its borders, reports the Lowvelder.
SANParks dispatched a helicopter upon request from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) to herd the trio back. However, it was unsuccessful because of interference on the ground by community members. This led to the decision to put the elephants down.
The situation was monitored and administered by the MTPA under the applicable legislation for such incidents as Matsulu is outside of the park and within the jurisdiction of the agency.
“We received a phone call about three elephant bulls who escaped near Matsulu. Due to the interference of the community, we took a decision to shoot them,” said Lesley Nyawo, spokesman for KNP.
The community harvested the meat and other body parts, and it is not clear at this stage whether the ivory was taken.