The SANParks ranger who was injured by an elephant at the Kruger National Park (KNP) in December is looking forward to going back to work. Joe Nkuna who has been working as a ranger for 32 years told the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, who paid the injured man a visit on Sunday to check on his healing progress.
Nkuna was hospitalised after being charged by an elephant while patrolling the Pretoriuskop section of the park. The severity of his injuries resulted in him being placed on life support in the Intensive Care Unit at a private hospital in Johannesburg where he is making a steady recovery. The medical team is pleased with his progress and is excited that he will be starting physiotherapy soon.
“What happened to Ranger Nkuna was tragic and I am glad I was able to speak to him. I can say Mr Nkuna is a remarkably brave man. He has endured multiple surgeries since the accident; but he has told me he cannot wait to get back in the bush patrolling, doing the job he is very passionate about. Rangers are our heroes and face danger every time they go into the bush to perform their duties”, Minister Creecy said.
The Minister was delighted to find the 57-year-old in good spirits and feeling hopeful about his recovery prospects. “I am here this morning to not only remind him he is part of the conservation family but to wish him well as he recovers from his injuries”, the Minister said.