Kgomotso Phooko
2 minute read
22 Jul 2022
1:22 pm

SANParks suspends employee after outcry caused by man slapping dead leopard

Kgomotso Phooko

The leopard was euthanised after it attacked an employee on Sunday.

Screengrab of a video of a man repeatedly slapping a dead leopard in the Kruger National Park.

SANParks has suspended one employee after a video of a man repeatedly slapping a dead leopard caused a stir on social media.

In the video shared on Wednesday, a man can be seen hitting the dead leopard while others watched.

The leopard had attacked an employee at Shalati Concession, in the Kruger National Park, while he was on his way to work on Sunday. He was able to fight the animal off and called for help.

Ina statement, SANParks said: “In line with SANParks’ policies and standard operating procedures on the management of damage causing animals, a decision was taken to euthanise the leopard to safeguard human life.”

The leopard’s post-mortem results confirmed that it died from a bullet wound, and not as a result of any other action.

SANParks condemned the incident and stated that the man seen slapping the dead leopard is not their employee, but a person that was visiting the park.

“SANParks is aware of his identity, and is taking legal advice on sanctions to be imposed on him,” read the statement.

The organisation has also taken statements from the rangers and other employees who were present during the incident.

It has since identified the nine people – three are rangers, three are employed by concessions in the park and the other is an environmental monitor.

Based on evidence it received, SANParks has suspended one employee pending disciplinary action. It said management will finalise the process on Friday for the other employees who may have violated its policies and code of conduct.

“During the course of next week, a campaign will be embarked upon amongst all employees within the Kruger National Park to reinforce these values and ethics.”

Management is aiming to have a final report completed by 27 July 2022 which will make recommendations to the SANParks Board.

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