Monday, 6 February, 2023

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Minister visits SANParks ranger injured by elephant

The minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, today visited Joe Nkuna, the SANParks ranger who was injured by an elephant in the Kruger National Park, in hospital.

Nkuna, a ranger with 32 years experience, was hospitalised on 20 December last year after being trampled by an elephant while patrolling the Pretoriuskop section of the park. The severity of his injuries resulted in him being placed on life support in the Intensive Care Unit at a private hospital in Johannesburg where he is making a steady recovery. The medical team is pleased with his progress and is excited that he will be starting physiotherapy soon.

ALSO READ: Elephant injures Kruger Park ranger

Creecy was delighted to find the 57-year-old in good spirits and feeling hopeful about his recovery. 

“I am here this morning to not only remind him he is part of the conservation family, but to wish him well as he recovers from his injuries,” the Minister said.

ALSO READ: Ranger injured by elephant recovering well

“What happened to Ranger Nkuna was tragic and I am glad I was able to speak to him. He is a remarkably brave man. He has endured multiple surgeries since the accident, but he has told me he cannot wait to get back in the bush patrolling, doing the job he is very passionate about. Rangers are our heroes and face danger every time they go into the bush to perform their duties,” Creecy added.

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