Tragic Death of Ranger at Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve Highlights Dangers of Working with Wild Animals

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inverdoorn private nature reserve african bush elephants

The recent death of Kabelo Mashao, a ranger at the Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve, has brought to light the dangers of working with wild animals, even those considered friendly. This article will examine the incident, its aftermath, and the importance of proper safety protocols when working with animals in the wild.

Incident Details

Mashao was trampled and tusked to death by a bull elephant he was trying to lure back into the reserve after the animal had used its trunk to release a gate catch and escape the account. The incident occurred on Workers’ Day when Mashao volunteered to be on duty while his colleagues took the day off. The elephant, introduced to the reserve 15 years ago, was known to be usually friendly, and the attack and the elephant’s behavior were unexpected.


Mashao’s death profoundly shocked and saddened his family, friends, and colleagues. The Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve management had to break the news to Mashao’s wife, who was devastated. The investigation into the tragedy is ongoing, and condolences have been extended to Mashao’s family and coworkers.

African Bush Elephants

African bush elephants are the most giant land animals in the world and can grow up to 13 feet tall and weigh 12,500 lbs. They are capable of running at up to 25mph. According to reports, African bush elephants kill about 500 people a year. The Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve is home to the Big Five game animals, including the elephant. Herds of elephants were introduced to the reserve in 2012, and the elephant that attacked Mashao had been there for at least 15 years.

Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve

The Inverdoorn Private Nature Reserve is a 10,000-acre game reserve in the Klein Karoo, a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town. It is a popular destination for wealthy tourists seeking an African safari experience. The reserve’s management has stressed that the safety and well-being of staff, guests, and wildlife are paramount. However, the elephant’s future has not been confirmed, and the reserve’s management has declined to comment.

Importance of Safety Protocols

The tragic incident serves as a reminder of the inherent danger of working with wild animals. While African bush elephants are typically docile, they can act unpredictably and cause significant harm. The loss of Kabelo Mashao is a great tragedy and a reminder of the need for proper safety protocols and training when working with animals in the wild. It is essential to ensure that staff members are adequately trained, and safety protocols are in place to prevent similar incidents.

The death of Kabelo Mashao is a tragic reminder of the dangers of working with wild animals, even those that are considered friendly. It is crucial to have proper safety protocols in place and to ensure that staff members are adequately trained to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. During this challenging time, our thoughts are with Mashao’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Environmentalist and Outdoor Enthusiast. Amanda is a nature-loving, energetic, and enthusiastic environmentalist who has dedicated her life to exploring and protecting Cape Town's stunning natural landscapes. She is an experienced hiker, wildlife enthusiast, and advocate for sustainable tourism.

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