Rangers fine KNP visitors for exiting vehicle

Rangers fine KNP visitors for exiting vehicle

People demonstrate their ‘bravery’ inside Kruger National Park. Picture: Supplied

‘Just stay in your cars and enjoy the scenery and the animals. They won’t kill you, and we won’t have to kill them afterwards,’ a KNP spokesperson said.

Four South African buffoons who thought it funny to climb out of their vehicle inside the Kruger National Park (KNP) were fined by rangers after being caught treating the park like their private zoo.

Thou shalt not leave thy vehicle except in designated places, is one of the cardinal rules of the park.

“In most of the national parks there is a possible threat from dangerous animals,” South African National Parks regulations state, printed on every entry permit.

“In such parks guests may only alight from vehicles in designated areas. No part of your body may protrude from a window or sunroof and doors should remain closed at all times.”

KNP spokesperson Ike Phaahla said someone had posted a photo on social media of a group of people at a lion sighting near Crocodile Bridge.

“The section ranger went to the area and instructed them to get into their cars, a nearby peace officer then escorted them to Skukuza where a R3,000 fine was issued,” Phaahla said.

Predators are a real danger in the park, with the baby of a Kruger employee recently snatched by a leopard. Ranger Charles Swart was killed in 1998 when a leopard grabbed him by the throat.

The incident is the latest in a series of people flouting the rules in the park.

Four people were injured when the driver of their vehicle crashed into a support pillar of the Paul Kruger Gate on January 2.

In December, three impalas were killed by a speeding motorist. No arrests have been made.

In September, a speeding touring taxi smashed so hard into a baby giraffe its carcass fell onto another vehicle, killing the Swiss driver.

Some visitors also try to push the boundaries of how close they can approach elephants and have paid the price with elephants regularly flipping cars, resulting in the death of one elephant, which was shot by rangers in 2014.

“Just stay in your cars and enjoy the scenery and the animals. They won’t kill you, and we won’t have to kill them afterwards,” Phaahla said.

amandaw@citizen.co.za

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.




today in print