By Staff Reporter
TZANEEN-A brave Kruger National Park ranger who lost his life after being attacked by a buffalo bull will be laid to rest today at his hometown in Tzaneen.
Shado Mathebula (36) a Field Ranger and Dog Handler based at Shangoni Section tragically died last week Wednesday, May 04 after confrontation with a buffalo.
Mathebula and his colleague were on foot patrol when a buffalo charged at them at the Shangoni section.
KNP spokesperson Ike Phaahla said the rangers let go of one round but only managed to injure the bull.
“The bull was only injured; it did not completely go down. As they [Mathebula and his colleague] were following the blood trail, the bull attacked them from the side from what we hear,” Phaahla said
Mathebula was declared dead on the scene and the buffalo bull animal was also destroyed, as Phaahla explained.
It is not known what could have triggered the bull to attack the rangers. Immediately after the incident, a team of counsellors were deployed to the KNP to officer the other ranger counselling.
The ranger’s family have also been offered ongoing counselling for as long as they need it.
Because Mathebula died an unnatural death, the police were called to the scene.
“We don’t know what actually killed him except he was killed in the incident.
“Immediately after the incident, we secured the area and police came to do their own investigation,”
He said they hope the police will give them an update on the post-mortem results at the same time as the family.
SANParks sends their sincerest condolences to the family.
Phaahla said the family’s loss is their loss and that of the entire ranger’s community globally.
“We recognise rangers as our warriors who stand between nature and the preservation of nature. They are a special breed of people.
“They are courageous in going out into the world and getting confronted by wild animals only to preserve them for future generations. They are the vanguard of nature.” Phaahla concluded.
Mathebula had been working for the Kruger National Park for the past 10 years, he survived by his wife and children.