Elephant charges its young protector

Many believe Erick Breedt's survival is a miracle. Photo: Supplied.

Huge concern has surfaced over the past few days after a 21-year-old anti-poaching ranger fell victim to the wrath of an animal he had dedicated his life to.

Loved ones were shocked when they were informed that former Hoërskool Noordheuwel learner, Erick Breedt, was viciously impaled by an elephant on the Sandringham reserve, just outside Hoedspruit in Limpopo on Thursday, 1 February.

Also Read: Rare elephant with ‘sabre-tooth’ tusks found in Malaysia

According to reports, four rogue elephants began chasing the two Protrack anti-poaching unit rangers while they were on duty, doing nothing more than checking fences. The men subsequently split up in an effort to reduce the danger they were in. One elephant continued to chase Erick, knelt down and nailed him to a tree.

Many believe Erick Breedt’s survival is a miracle. Photo: Supplied.

After the horrific incident, he managed to crawl roughly 30 metres to a nearby road. While this was happening, his partner set off towards the property lodge to seek help. The local paramedics found the victim sitting in the road, applying pressure to his wounds.

Also Read: Circus elephants’ retirement home promises pampered life

He was immediately rushed to a hospital in Tzaneen where doctors were presented with a set of injuries including a split throat, severe oesophagus and trachea damage, a broken ankle, a jaw broken in three places and damaged vocal chords and facial nerves.

After being put on a ventilator and under sedation, Erick was transferred to a Johannesburg hospital for further treatment on Wednesday, 7 February. It was later discovered that his left lung had collapsed and that he will never be able to use his voice or eat normally again.

Eric Breedt has been working for Protrack since July 2017. Photo: Supplied.

“Erick is one of those special young men. He decided to dedicate his life to protecting rhinos and elephants – animals endangered in South Africa by horrific poaching,” said his mother, Annelie Jordaan.

“He always thought that the greatest danger he would have to face would be from armed poachers (many using automatic weapons). Little did he know that on that fateful day he would be fighting for his life, because the very animal he was trying to protect would attack him.”

On Friday, 9 February, the family was informed that there are extensive facial injuries that have not been dealt with yet, including damage to the bone above his eye. It was also discovered that a cheekbone is fractured and his jaw isn’t aligned properly. However, Erick is scheduled for an ankle/ leg operation on Monday, 12 February.

For more updates and information, feel free to visit Erick’s Facebook page, Support for Erick or read more in our sister publication, the Letaba Herald

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] or phone us on 011 955 1130.I 

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister websites: 

Randfontein Herald

Roodepoort Record

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Alanicka Lotriet

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