A young bull elephant was shot and killed inside a staff village in the Kruger National Park, after charging staff members.

Life-saving measures were taken as a young elephant bull charged SANParks staff members at the Pretoriuskop rest camp in the Kruger National Park (KNP) according to Lowvelder.

SANParks released a statement confirming the tragic incident. They explained that shooting the bull was the last resort and rangers were left with no choice, as the elephant was endangering lives of staff. They also added that after being shot, the elephant ran out of the living quarters and died.

As expected, there has been outrage on social media with regards to the shooting, however SANParks has reiterated that there was no alternative, and that the rangers had to make an instant life-or-death decision.

The bull was becoming increasingly more agitated and aggressive the longer he remained in the village, SANParks said. Young bulls are extremely unpredictable and far more aggressive when in musth.

Musth is a ‘periodical change of the behaviour of elephant bulls due to hormones, which can last for weeks or months’. In the musth period, a bull produces 40 to 60 times more testosterone than normal, making them more prone to aggression.

Last week, a 63-year-old female was killed by a hippo in her village near the Kruger National Park. Muthavini Masungwini of Magona village, was crushed to death by a hippo near her home.

Several locals had apparently warned of the hippo and her calf in the area.

The death of the elderly woman highlighted the danger faced by people living near the Kruger park. Locals also lamented the destruction of the fence that used to keep the animals away.