Speeding driver kills 7 Kruger impala

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IOL mot pic may8 Impala killed Run-over impalas lie dead on the road near Skukuza. The truck responsible for the accident can be seen in the background.

Official are considering banning a truck driver from entering the Kruger National Park after he drove into a herd of impala, killing seven.

Witnesses said the driver of a delivery truck killed the impala after he overtook a vehicle near Skukuza at high speed. The impala were standing in the road at the time.

William Mabasa, head of communications at the park, said: “SANParks not only grieves for the loss of the impalas but is also saddened that such an incident took place in a protected area, which is meant for safeguarding these animals,” said

The incident happened around 5.30pm on Wednesday at the junction of the Paul Kruger and Skukuza staff roads. The truck belonged to a contractor working in the park.

Laura Mukwevho, spokeswoman for the Kruger Park, said the man was fined R2500 but could face a higher penalty.

“Management are currently discussing the possibility of banning him.”

Such incidents were rare in Kruger, and when they happened, the culprits were not often caught.

“Sometimes we can’t find the guilty drivers after they run over an animal because they run away,” Mukwevho said. “But if there is a witness, we can charge them.”

The driver stopped after the accident. He was charged with failure to comply with the National Environmental Management Act.

Mabasa said: “The vehicle belongs to one of our contractors; however, strict measures had to be taken against the driver as we cannot afford to allow this sort of behaviour by anybody, including our business partners. We expect this move will act as a deterrent, while we also hope and pray that a similar incident will not repeat itself in future,” said Mabasa.

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