JOHANNESBURG, May 14 – A South African safari firm said on Tuesday they had sacked a guide who caused an Internet storm when video of him drunkenly charging an elephant went viral.
The Singita Game Reserve said the man, initially thought to be a tourist, was in fact an off-duty field guide and was “no longer employed by the reserve.”
It added that “further disciplinary procedures are in progress with regard to others involved.”
The footage, posted on wildlife site Latest Sightings (www.latestsightings.com), showed a clearly inebriated man charging towards the startled animal.
With friends cheering and encouraging him, the man runs at the elephant, which initially swings its trunk towards him, but soon beats a retreat.
“We cannot stress enough that the behaviour displayed in this video completely contradicts Singita’s guiding ethos and values toward conservation and wildlife preservation,” the reserve said.
Wild animals in the two-million-hectare park sometimes attack visitors and elephants have been known to overturn the cars of sightseers.