A field guide at Kruger National Park has been filmed getting out of his safari vehicle on a night drive to kick a pangolin in order to get better photos of it, despite obvious protestations from those in his vehicle.
Jason Janse van Vuuren, who posted the video onto YouTube commented that this happened: “On a night drive in Kruger at Punda Maria, Veli left the vehicle and aggressively kicked this endangered and beautiful creature so he could get a picture of it. He later made comments about going back to capture the animal so he could charge the public to see it.”
Pangolins, which are under increasing threat due to poaching, close into a ball when they feel threatened. When the field guide saw the pangolin may do this, he exited the vehicle and, in response to protests from his clients when he kicked the creature, he nonchalantly commented, “it won’t die.” Then he kicked it.
UPDATE FROM SANPARKS:
The field guide that was caught on camera kicking a pangolin whilst on a night drive with guests was on a fixed term contract with Kruger National Park based at Punda Maria Camp
“Our guiding personnel’s role is to interpret nature to the guests who go on our activities in the park on regular basis and we are concerned about the guide’s behaviour at a pangolin sighting as can be seen on the video footage currently trending on social media platforms. We have already suspended the guide and at the meantime we are in the process of investigating the case so that we can take appropriate disciplinary steps. The public will be kept informed of the development as we deal with this case until the end of it,” said the South African National Parks (SANParks) Acting Head of Communications, William Mabasa.