Austrian killed by Elephant Kunene





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  1. #1
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    Default Austrian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Does anyone know details about this incident.
    It appeared in the Friday edition of the West Australian newspapers.

    Apparently they were wild camping in the Kunene river when attacked.
    The guy was 59 years old and they are not sure as to whether or not he company.was with a licensed tourist

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    kunene region , huab river , camping with a group and guide but no further detail yet i have seen . tragic

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by redondo1955 View Post

    Apparently they were wild camping in the Kunene river when attacked.
    Huab river, that means around Twyfelfontein.

    Kunene "region" is not quite the same as Kunene" river.

    Austrian man as opposed to Australian.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    59 year old Austrian on a guided Tour. Wild camping in Huab. Supposedly the man went behind a bush they were camped next too and surprised an elephant. The elephants had been around the area for days. He passed after the incident while attempts to stabilize him were being made before being airlifted to hospital. I would assume based on the fact that he survived the original incident that it was simply reactionary on the Elephants side and should be taken as a tragic accident. This is my opinion only, based on what I have heard from involved parties.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandjan View Post
    Huab river, that means around Twyfelfontein.

    Kunene "region" is not quite the same as Kunene" river.

    Austrian man as opposed to Australian.
    Understood that the Kunene and the river are separate and it makes me realize how lucky I may have been.
    When I was at this area on the huab and near Twyfelfontein my son and I had a close experience with the whole heard, in fact we were surrounded totally with the exception of the bull who we came across later on.

    That day they were very passive and I felt fortunate for the experience.


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    As close as it can get , wait for almost an hour for this one to come and play with the aerial in the Ugab River .
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Very sad incident and one feels very sorry for the Austrian and his family.
    I just hope that the Nam game dept does not go and destroy the elephant as, so far, it does not look like a deliberate attack.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    I think that most of us interacting with wild animals in their habitat, realize we are doing so on the animal's terms.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Tragic. Unfortunately this will happen again if the elephants are not respected. We have followed and watched elephats in the ugab, huab, abahuab, hoanib and huarusib for years. They have never shown any aggressive behaviour. This must have been a case of wrong place wrong time. On another note: Just recently we were driving down the hoanib following a small herd of Elephants. We stopped to watch them about 50m away. A Namibian Tourvehicle (Extented cruiser) passed us and drove up to the elephants appriximately 5m. These as...h..s will do anything to get a good tip. I think many of the guides are more interested to get the tourist as close as possible to the animals rather than keeping a safe distance. It would be interesting to know where in the Huab this happened. People are looking for trouble camping in the rivers as the elephants move and feed in the dense bush.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    Tragic. Unfortunately this will happen again if the elephants are not respected. We have followed and watched elephats in the ugab, huab, abahuab, hoanib and huarusib for years. They have never shown any aggressive behaviour. This must have been a case of wrong place wrong time. On another note: Just recently we were driving down the hoanib following a small herd of Elephants. We stopped to watch them about 50m away. A Namibian Tourvehicle (Extented cruiser) passed us and drove up to the elephants appriximately 5m. These as...h..s will do anything to get a good tip. I think many of the guides are more interested to get the tourist as close as possible to the animals rather than keeping a safe distance. It would be interesting to know where in the Huab this happened. People are looking for trouble camping in the rivers as the elephants move and feed in the dense bush.
    As an ex tour guide, field guide and wild camper I have seen so many idiots in the bush. Getting too close, "luring" game close for photo ops, drunk ejits etc. I just shake my head these days because I'm sick of getting verbal abuse from them.... such an unfortunate incident for this tourist. Hope it wasn't due to ejit operators. Thoughts are with his family.
    Last edited by gazza1210; 2019/11/09 at 09:57 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza1210 View Post
    As an ex tour guide, field guide and wild camper I have seen so many idiots in the bush. Getting too close, "luring" game close for photo ops, drunk ejits etc. I just shake my head these days because I'm sick of getting verbal abuse from them.... such an unfortunate incident for this tourist. Hope it wasn't due to ejit operators. Thoughts are with his family.
    Got to agree with you gazza on the above.
    I've spent most of my life wild camping in thick game areas and the basic rules are simple.
    1) don't camp on game trails
    2) don't camp in thick bush if you can avoid it
    3) don't camp by watering points
    4) ALWAYS assume there is game in camp or coming
    5) keep your camp tight i.e. ablutions, kitchens, vehicles etc close so no wondering of at night or early mornings.
    I also leave damp elephant dung smoldering on the coals, this seems to keep most things out of camp except the Hyena's.
    There is not enough information to asses what happened and accidents happen to even the best of guides so I wouldn't make any judgement until I had all the facts.
    My thoughts go out to the tourists family.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    @Gazza. No offence, but the quality of tourguides seems to deteriorate. We more often see this attrocious behaviour. Squeezing betwee cars, chasing from one sight to another, continous lecturing to other game viewers etc. This unfortunately also applies to many non tourguides. Respect for wild animals is lost. The result being serious accidents.
    And yes, people are advised not to camp in the damaraland rivers for reasons already mentioned. So if the group was accompanied by a guide, he really f..up.
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    @Gazza. No offence, but the quality of tourguides seems to deteriorate. We more often see this attrocious behaviour. Squeezing betwee cars, chasing from one sight to another, continous lecturing to other game viewers etc. This unfortunately also applies to many non tourguides. Respect for wild animals is lost. The result being serious accidents.
    And yes, people are advised not to camp in the damaraland rivers for reasons already mentioned. So if the group was accompanied by a guide, he really f..up.
    Correct!
    Normally mid-European tourists behave very well, but many of them lack knowldge and experience.
    I have seen quite a number of groups camping on elephant trails where the rivers are passing between steep river banks between mountains on both sides. On fresh tracks where you could see the anaimals may be close.
    If the elephants have been chased up before by people in their pickups with high level of alcohol and noise, reactions of the animals like this won´t surprise me.
    About this we have had quite serious arguments with a GP group once.
    So, basically all is guessing, none of us knows exactly where it happened and what the surrounding was, and what had been the cause that the elephant attacked.
    Sad, if Nature Conservation declares such a normally peaceful elephant to be a problem animal, and have it shot. They are looking for such cases, it is big money for them bringing in a trophy hunter.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Sadly, even guides don’t necessarily know just how dangerous elephants can be. My daughter and a group under control of a guide got to close to an elephant while walking in a game reserve in Natal . The elephant charged. Guide sadly killed. My daughter managed to run and was ok.
    Moral is keep a fair distance from elephants, even in a car. I have had an elephant eat from a tree above my rooftop tent, an elephant wreck our campsite, an elephant charge my car ( car faster than elephant) and yes (just as the picture above shows ) an elephant nudge the front of my car.
    The Australian will not be the last person to be killed. I am always weary of elephants, but in the bush the elephant is unpredictable.
    Last edited by Windmage; 2019/11/11 at 01:33 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    We must remember that those Elephants were part of the Angolan war. We must also remember that the saying "Geheue soos 'n Olifant" is not a saying just because someone thought it up. The Elephants you would encounter in Northern Namibia, Angola and the Delta are not very fond of people in general because of the war years ago. The small ones then are now leaders of the group. Very sorry for the family to have had this loss.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    I never experienced those elephants to be aggressive. Over news here it was said they camped at a place where they shouldn't.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    I was interested in the comment that the elephants and presumably other game are becoming more aggressive because of drought or other aspects of climate change. Is there any research evidence to support this? BTW I will not be surprised if it is so.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by Windmage View Post
    Sadly, even guides don’t necessarily know just how dangerous elephants can be. My daughter and a group under control of a guide got to close to an elephant while walking in a game reserve in Natal . The elephant charged. Guide sadly killed. My daughter managed to run and was ok.
    Windmage, can you provide more details of this event, especially where and when as I don't recall anything recently?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Australian killed by Elephant Kunene

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.8i rocks View Post
    Got to agree with you gazza on the above.
    I've spent most of my life wild camping in thick game areas and the basic rules are simple.
    1) don't camp on game trails
    2) don't camp in thick bush if you can avoid it
    3) don't camp by watering points
    4) ALWAYS assume there is game in camp or coming
    5) keep your camp tight i.e. ablutions, kitchens, vehicles etc close so no wondering of at night or early mornings.
    I also leave damp elephant dung smoldering on the coals, this seems to keep most things out of camp except the Hyena's.
    There is not enough information to asses what happened and accidents happen to even the best of guides so I wouldn't make any judgement until I had all the facts.
    My thoughts go out to the tourists family.
    Its not a good idea to leave coals smouldering overnight and damp elephant dung wont smoulder by itself. Dry elephant dung, on the other hand, will smoulder well by itself... and it will keep mosquitos away... nothing else.

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