Martha van Rensburg, Facebook user thinks: "People who get out of their cars should be name and shamed, reason, if they get killed by an animal, the animal, who is in it's own habitat, get killed. Some of you feel pics should not be place on the page, are you guilty of same doing. Please grow up, say things as it is, show the bright sparks, if you start stopping people saying what they think is right, then this page can be close. There are other places where it can be loaded on."
Martha is wrong on so many levels, naming and shaming me on social media might make me angry, it might lead to a bloody nose if I met you but not much else. I am not one that believes my job is to police you. If you want to climb out of your car and stroke a leopard, I'd be happy to film or photograph you and if I can use a title like "Leopard Kills man that just wanted to cuddle", even better. I wouldn't make judgements about your sobriety, intelligence or bravery. It's just not my place. I also won't make any judgements about Martha's use of grammar and her ability to express her thoughts in a thoughtful and logical manner, It's also not my place.
I get really angry when a lion takes a bite out of someone on an African Safari, that gets out of the car to stroke them, gets shot for it's efforts at culling the human race of someone that's genes should probably not be passed on. If the human is badly behaved and the animal gets punished for it, that is an injustice. The Kruger National Park and other wildlife reserves in South Africa are not zoos. You are entering the animals territory and it would behoove you to understand that all wild animals are dangerous. Hunters have been killed by those cute little buck with pointy horns, because what they thought was dead, was a little concussed.
To put this in perspective, an impala is bigger than the average goat. My dear old Dad as a young man found to Mom's delight that even a goat can be a vicious creature when you encroach on it's territory. Dad mad the mistake of thinking domesticated is not scary, Well said Ram charged and hit Dad on the buttocks when he decided discretion was called for and started running away. The tale told is that the goat hit him so hard he flew through the gate like a rag doll, or over it as it get's regaled with peals of laughter.
An African wild cat, which is no bigger than the average moggy found in flats and gardens through out the world can take down prey three times it's own size, so cuddling them is probably not an Einsteinian project. but here is the thing if someone wants to play tag with the kitty or the Rhino, publishing a photo or video on Facebook or You Tube is not going to solve the problem. You can get all outraged and get your sentiments shared by other chess playing pigeons, but absolutely nothing will happen. Nobody will get punished, and nothing will change.
Rueon Scott, another facebook warrior claims "Unfortunately very little also happens if you report to the authorities. Have done so more than once and never got reaction or report back"
I am going to hazard a guess that the authorities have to deal with 1000's of complaints every year, from the inane whinge to reports of poachers. Mr Scott is seemingly under the impression that these poor overworked people should find the time to report back to every single complainant the actions taken, just because they asked to be kept informed.
Mr Scott needs to know that a good friend of mine worked in the park for many years, In fact one of the trails in the Kruger National Park carries his nickname. I sit and listen to him telling tales of tourists left behind at stops by tour bus drivers, of law breakers getting their just deserts and more.
We all have our favorite tale of obnoxious OSV drivers. Some claim that the majority of them are bad, but this is not true, there will always be diligent people that know what they are supposed to do, and will follow the rules, and then the few who think the rules don't apply to them, It's like traffic cops, some are obnoxious mini Hitlers on a power binge and others are their to ensure that things go the way they are supposed to.
If you see someone breaking the rules in the National Parks, posting a pic on Kruger Idiots has as much effect as onanism, At the end you may feel good, but no one else benefits. There is no one monitoring social media to find and prosecute wrong uns. They are too busy doing their actual jobs.
François Grové from Safaris Direct advises that the process for complaints is simple.
"Anyone (OSVs or public) noticing a person or vehicle breaking KNP rules can follow these steps to report the offence:
- Note the licence plate, yellow decal number (all OSVs are required to display the decal on the back or right hand side of the vehicle), date, time and location of the incident.
- Take video or photographic proof (ensuring that you capture the licence plate and/or decal number, as well as clearly showing the offence)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed statement of the incident"
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