In a shocking incident, a sexually charged bull elephant killed a safari ranger at a South African game lodge. Mark Lautenbach, an expert guide and professional wildlife photographer from Cape Town was crushed to death by the angry elephant at Leopard Rock Lodge. It broke into the tourist area of game park lodge and charged at the expert. The 33-year-old's efforts to move away the animal were in vain.
According to reports, the elephant trampled him repeatedly leading to 'extensive injuries' on Lautenbach. Male elephants when sexually charged have up to ten times as much as testosterone than normal levels in their bodies. The one that killed Lautenbach was in full musth and grew violent. During the period of musth, bull elephants become highly aggressive along with the rise in reproductive hormones in their bodies. Elephant Kills Man During Morning Walk in Haridwar.
Nadia, Mark's partner who is also the manager of the game lodge is inconsolable at the death. Member of the Executive Council for Environment and Agricultural Development Desbo Mohono said that Lautenbach was one of the most respected game rangers in South Africa.
Daily Mail quoted Nadia as saying, "His death by an elephant is a great loss to the South African wildlife sector as Mark was a highly committed and highly trained ranger with years of experience. We pray that his family may find peace and comfort at this time of bereavement'.
The report quoted elephant expert Dr Michelle Henley of Save the Elephants as saying, "You have to be doubly cautious when you come across a bull elephant in musth for they are far more aggressive. Their testosterone levels are highly elevated and the first thing to be aware of is the swelling of a gland just behind the eye which for a bull in musth can swell to the size of a soccer ball.
She added saying, "The elephant has a way of walking, a stand-tall display, and you will see it swaggering down the road with urine gushing out which is a tell-tale sign he is in full musth and you cannot approach. 10 to 1 are the odds it will not get off the road if you are on it and you have to give way."
Leopard Rock Lodge is a 70,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve near the Kruger National Park. Lautenbach who was an expert tracker and bird expert was a manager and senior guide at the Lodge. The place is home to five big elephants, buffalo, leopard, lion and rhino. Following the incident, a decision has been made to put the elephant down as there are chances it could do the same.