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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 16:14 GMT
Unforgettable elephant encounter
African elephant
The elephant had been shot in the head
A man from Staffordshire escaped with minor injuries after an enraged elephant fell virtually on top of him after being shot dead in South Africa.

Quick-thinking tour guides shot the pachyderm after it charged a group of tourists in Kruger National Park.

John Anslow was with a group of foreign tourists who were on a day's walk in the park with two field guides when the incident happened on Tuesday.

The elephant died instantly, a Johannesburg-based newspaper said.

Breeding herd

Tour guide Gordon Ramsden said the group had been on the banks of the N'waswitshaka River, about 10 miles from their camp in Skukuza, when they spotted a breeding herd of elephants close by.

"Suddenly, out of nowhere, an elephant charged us from behind and the group split up," Ramsden told the Star newspaper.

"At that moment, I thought I was dead," said Mr Anslow.

"The elephant came past me and brushed two of the tourists before turning around."

He said the elephant had been virtually on top of him when he heard a gunshot and saw the animal slump to the ground right in front of him.

"I owe my life to the quick action of the park's guides and I'm relieved that they are so well trained," Mr Anslow added.

He was taken to a doctor where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

The elephant had been shot in the head. It was unclear which of the guides had fired the fatal shot.


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