A Spanish tourist has been trampled to death by elephants in a South African national park after apparently trying to take pictures of a breeding herd that included three calves.

The 43-year-old man was killed on Sunday morning at Pilanesberg national park about 130 miles (210km) north-west of Johannesburg.

According to park officials, the man, who was with three friends, climbed out of his vehicle and walked towards the animals to take photos.

“Despite warnings from his fellow passengers, and occupants from two other vehicles that were at the sighting, he unfortunately did not heed their warnings,” the North West province’s parks and tourism board said in a statement.

  • TransplantedSconie@lemm.ee
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    7 days ago

    Stupid Fucking Moron Dies Doing Something Stupid

    A moron died today after being warned repeatedly to not do the thing that killed him.

    Ignoring warnings and being clueless to the zoom feature on 100% of cameras and phones offered to the population today, he instead walked towards the 12,000 lb animal and its offspring, sending it into a rage.

    The Not Quite Mensa Material was 43 years old and people who knew him are amazed he made it that long.

    • Drusas@kbin.run
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      7 days ago

      I feel bad for the other tourists who has to witness his stupid death.

      • Jumpingspiderman@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Unfortunately not before he reproduced. Jared Diamond in “Germs, Guns, and Steel” points out that so-called primitive people are likely to be more intelligent than so-called civilized people probably because the dumb “primitives” get culled if they do something stupid. Whereas the stupid civilized people go into middle management

        • Hotspur@lemmy.ml
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          7 days ago

          His argument went one step further as well I think: aside from the literal culling, he argued also that they used their brains far more often to solve actual real problems and avoid harm, and that this active engagement of their brains with their environment likely led to higher “general intelligence” than say safe western world inhabitants. As an employee of the “spreadsheet factory” I find this speculation highly plausible and compelling.

          • girlfreddy@lemmy.caOP
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            6 days ago

            There is some data out there (that I read like 20 years ago and can’t find anymore) that tested two groups of juvenile rats. One group lived 24/7 with mom, and the other split time between mom and their buddies, playing and doing dumb young animal shit.

            The scientists discovered that the rats with mom had a less developed brain vs the ones who split time. They posited it was due to the split time rats having to navigate friendships and conflict, forcing their brains to develop more complex neural pathways.

            Extrapolating this to humans you can see what the repercussions would be (and in my experience, has become).

            • Hotspur@lemmy.ml
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              6 days ago

              Yes I would tend to agree—it seems anecdotally correct that if you restrict the possibility space for a child down to something very narrow, the opportunity to learn and adapt must reduce as well. Which is probably why “good parenting” is such a tricky concept, because you have to somehow maximize the possibility space while also removing anything that can plausibly kill/hurt your child. A daunting task…

              I have noticed some nephews of mine being particularly limited—they grew up during pandemic years and are home schooled, and they don’t have meaningful interactions with other children or adults, which seems to really be leading to some issues.

              • girlfreddy@lemmy.caOP
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                6 days ago

                Yup. How do you learn to make informed choices when you’ve never been given the opportunity to learn what that entails? Same with conflict, relationships, etc.

                The plasticity of the brain (maybe?) allows for the brain to grow and change, but I haven’t spent the time to look up more recent developments and see what info is out there.

  • poo@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Funny tourists go home! became such a popular sentiment among the spanish, while also out doing stupid shit in other countries, as a tourist.

    Maybe “tourists go home” was what the elephants were trumpeting as he got trampled to death

  • Mereo@lemmy.ca
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    7 days ago

    What in the actual f*&%:

    According to park officials, the man, who was with three friends, climbed out of his vehicle and walked towards the animals to take photos.

    So tourists think that they are domesticated animals?! They’re not dogs. Respect nature.

    • Jumpingspiderman@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      We were recently in Wyoming/Montana etc. where the moose and the buffalo roam. We saw people try for their Darwin awards by approaching these wild animals more than once. I feel sorry for their families. But if there ever was a FAFO situation, this is it.

    • stoly@lemmy.world
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      6 days ago

      If you watch fail videos, people constantly pick up wild animals and try to pet or kiss them. It’s very strange.

        • stoly@lemmy.world
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          5 days ago

          My sister in law is from China—my brother moved there, got married, and they moved to the US. Apparently they had a very long conversation about wild geese in the park that went “wait, you’re telling me that all this free meat is here and not one person is taking any home?” for some time before she believed that people just like to watch the geese.

  • stoly@lemmy.world
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    6 days ago

    I didn’t have to read the article to know that this was someone being an idiot. Reading the article confirmed that.

  • NeptuneOrbit@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Better than squirt guns

    (sad story, I know, but oddly similar to the story out of Barcelona this week…)

  • mineralfellow@lemmy.world
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    5 days ago

    I did some work on the geology of Pilanesburg a few years back. To walk around outside the vehicles, we had two armed rangers accompanying us, both to keep us and the animals safe. It is unimaginable to think of approaching a herd of elephants on foot.

  • Hotspur@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    I saw possibly these same elephants a year ago during a visit to pilanesbirg, and they were majestic and gorgeous. Our guide was very experienced and was very clear with us that the elephants didn’t want trouble with us, but that they will knock over cars and charge people if they feel like their babies are under threat. We saw some tourists in private cars try and drive up close to a mother helping two babies (calves I guess?) across the road, and she turned on the jeep, stamped and made a very impressive trumpet blare (basically her being like FUCK YOU, BACK OFF) before walking back off.

    I feel bad for the guy, and it’s a sad story, but having seen one of these herds, and seeing how incredibly large and powerful they were, I cannot imaging trying to walk up to them or approach them in any way.

    Seeing animals like these elephants was a humbling experience for me that drove home that we are small, and probably not as special as we like to think. I locked eyes with one while they were eating a tree and I don’t know how to describe it, but it felt like looking at another human—my brain had no doubt that this was a highly intelligent sentient creature. I would rate this visit to pilanesburg as probably one of the most memorable and impactful experiences I’ve ever had.

  • Flying Squid@lemmy.worldM
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    7 days ago

    You’re on the African savanna. Don’t get out of the fucking car. Even if the elephants don’t trample you, there’s lions and hyenas and stuff. Just fucking stupid.

      • Flying Squid@lemmy.worldM
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        7 days ago

        If I was in a car somewhere in the U.S. with lots of death and I started to get out and everyone else in the car told me not to get out and two different cars driving by stopped and told me not to get out and then I got out anyway and got shot, yeah, I’d be fucking stupid.

        But also, that’s not in any way the same as getting out of a car where huge wild animals that are historically known to kill people are roaming around free.

        • Hugh_Jeggs@lemm.ee
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          6 days ago

          animals that are historically known to kill people are roaming around free

          Americans then?

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    7 days ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    A Spanish tourist has been trampled to death by elephants in a South African national park after apparently trying to take pictures of a breeding herd that included three calves.

    The 43-year-old man was killed on Sunday morning at Pilanesberg national park about 130 miles (210km) north-west of Johannesburg.

    Pieter Nel, the board’s chief conservation officer, told Agence France-Presse that the matriarch of the herd had attacked after becoming “agitated” by the man’s approach.

    The board offered its condolences to the dead man’s family and friends, saying it was “very saddened by this tragic incident”.

    Last year 50 people were killed and 85 injured by wild animals – mostly elephants – in neighbouring Zimbabwe, according to local authorities.

    The central government’s representative to the region told La Vanguardia that consular staff were travelling to the scene of the accident to take possession of the man’s body and repatriate it.


    The original article contains 406 words, the summary contains 149 words. Saved 63%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!