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Media Release: Hikers in stable condition after buffalo attack at MZNP

Date: 2010-07-13

The three hikers who survived the attack by a buffalo bull on a hiking trail in Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP) yesterday are in a stable condition in a Port Elizabeth hospital.

The three hikers who survived the attack by a buffalo bull on a hiking trail in Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP) yesterday are in a stable condition in a Port Elizabeth hospital.

The buffalo attack took place yesterday at about 11:15 shortly after a party of four hikers from Somerset West started walking on the Imbila Hiking Trail.

All four hikers were injured in the attack and sadly, one of the party, Mr Johan Schmidt, passed away at the scene of the accident.

The other three hikers, Marie Schmidt, wife of the deceased, and Sam and Marianne Sieberhagen, were transported to Cradock Hospital after receiving attention from Park staff and paramedics at the scene.

The three injured hikers were then airlifted from Cradock Hospital to St. Georges Hospital in Port Elizabeth yesterday evening. They are receiving treatment at St. Georges Hospital and are in a stable condition.

Park rangers followed the spoor of the lone buffalo bull from the scene of the accident yesterday but were unable to locate the animal. The rangers will continue searching the area where the incident took place for the next few days in order to track down the buffalo bull.

Rangers suspect the buffalo’s unusually aggressive behaviour may indicate that it is sick or injured. Once the rangers have found the buffalo, it will be put down if found to be sick or injured to ensure that it does not endanger the lives of other visitors or staff.

In the meantime, hiking trails have been closed until further notice.

South African National Parks (SANParks) will conduct an investigation into the incident and following this, determine whether hiking trails in the Park will be reopened.

Issued by:
South African National Parks

Enquiries:
Megan Taplin, Regional Communications Manager, Addo Elephant * Camdeboo * Karoo* Mountain Zebra National Parks, Tel: 083 650 8649 or (042) 233 8609, e-mail: meganb@sanparks.org

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