Vendors use catapults to save German tourist from elephant attack


A TOURIST who was left for dead by an elephant bull in Victoria Falls on Saturday has been identified as Frank Sternhardt, a 56-year-old German national and has since been airlifted to South Africa for further treatment.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development.

“He was seriously injured and his condition kept worsening until he had to be airlifted to South Africa the same night. He sustained left arm and left leg fracture and other multiple body injuries,” Farawo said.

“Elephants are breeding this time and we would like to urge our tourists not to draw closer to them and start filming. When they have calves, they become very sensitive and protective and must be avoided at all costs.”

Sternhardt had visited the resort town with his wife and the two were walking to Kingdom Hotel where they were staying when he was attacked.

He was saved by souvenir vendors who said they were alerted to the danger by a woman’s screams.

Anele Mpofu and Nqobile Nkomazana said they used catapults to scare away one of the feeding cows to save the tourist’s life.

“We hit it hard on its left ear and maybe it thought it was a gun and it moved away along with three calves and the rest of the herd that was nearby. That is how he was able to be rescued,” Mpofu said.

“The wife had apparently ran away during the attack and came back to find out if her husband was still alive. She was in shock and tears but we managed to render first aid until the hospital ambulance came to pick him up.”

Mpofu and Nkomazana said they always carried catapults for protection as they work in an area full of dangerous animals.

Last Wednesday, another German tourist was trampled to death by an elephant in Mana Pools after she went close to the animal to take selfies.


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