Once, many moons ago, I was lucky enough to see a pangolin in the wild. We turned off the car engine, watched the beautiful creature shuffle into a tree trunk and disappear from view without fuss.
You know, how you’re supposed to enjoy watching animals in their natural habitat.
It remains one of my favourite wildlife sightings of all time, but for these Kruger Park tourists their moment was ruined by an overzealous ranger who has some serious questions to answer.
It’s such a pity too, because most rangers are hardworking individuals committed to protecting the animals that call the park home, and incidents like this serve only to unfairly tarnish their names
Jason Janse van Vuuren uploaded the YouTube video, that came with this description:
On a night drive in Kruger at Punda Maria, ranger Veli left the vehicle and aggressively kicked this endangered and beautiful creature so he could get a picture of it. He later made comments about going back to capture the animal so he could charge the public to see it. This is the problem with conservation. Rangers that think this is acceptable should never be allowed to interact with these animals let alone guide. We are appalled and deeply saddened by the event to say the least.
Capture the animal and charge people to see it – yes, a ranger in the Kruger Park actually said that.
This may make you very angry.
SANPARKS – KNP Regional Tourism Manager Michelle van der Merwe who responded to post says, “We are currently investigating this incident and we do take this matter as very serious. A statement has already been requested from the field guide who conducted the night drive. Please allow us to follow our internal processes to ensure that corrective measures can be taken.”
Do your thing Michelle, and for future hires please ensure they’re not fond of booting endangered animals so that tourists can snap a photo or two.
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