Sabi Sands Photographic Safari

Ranger gored by elephant

Man on life support in hospital

© Jonathan Marsden/GoGetFunding

A wildlife ranger in South Africa, who works to protect rhinos and elephants against poaching, has been gored by a rogue elephant while checking the reserve’s fences. He remains in critical condition and a fundraising page has been set up to help cover the medical expenses.

See below the message left by the family on the GoGetFunding page:

“Erick is one of those special young men – he made a decision to dedicate his life’s work to protecting rhino’s and elephants – animals endangered in South Africa – due to horrific poaching for nothing more then the ivory in their horns and tusks.

He always thought that his greatest danger would be from armed poachers (many using automatic weapons) – little did he know that on 1st of February he would be fighting for his life, because the very animal he was trying to protect would attack him

Whilst doing nothing more dangerous then checking fences, four rogue elephants set upon Erick and his partner. Both men split up trying to reduce the danger. He ran to the left and his partner to the right. One elephant chased him, kneeled down and essentially nailed him into a tree. He managed to crawl about 30 metres to the road where he was found by game rangers. He was rushed to a hospital in Tzaneen, where doctors were presented with a massive set of injuries including:

– his throat was split

– his esophagus and trachea were severed

– his ankle was broken

– his jaw was broken in three places

– his vocal chords and facial nerves have been damaged

He is now on a ventilator and under sedation. The road to recovery is not going to be easy.

He needs to be transferred by air ambulance closer to home in Johannesburg and for rehabilitation to begin. Without first world treatment there is a 95% chance that he won’t speak or be able to eat normally.

The greatest tragedy is that these brave young men who put there lives on the line to protect our wildlife heritage, do so at considerable personal cost. Their compensation is certainly not financial, and the medical cover they receive is, at best, basic.

We need US$12,500 to fly this brave young man home and to give him a chance with adequate rehabilitation. Ironically that amount is equivalent to only eight pounds of ivory sold in Beijing.”

Donations can be given through the GoGetFunding campaign page, found here: Whilst protecting rhino’s Erick has been gored by an elephant

Erick Marsden, wildlife ranger

© Jonathan Marsden/GoGetFunding

News Desk

A collection of current affairs articles and press releases from third party sources.

  • Antonio da Cruz

    I saw this story on FB a few days ago. Your story looks like a cut and paste of the story on FB. Before making a donation I asked for more info on the victim like “Eric’s” full name, background and for whom he worked when the event occurred. Did he have workmans comp and full benefits, etc. No info was forthcoming. His name “Erick” is also spelt differently on the Gogetfunding page. A thorough fact check is required before propagating these seemingly noble efforts.

    • Simon Espley

      Antonio. While your sleuthing keeps you busy and in a cynical zone, I hope you don’t mind if the rest of us recognise the need to reach out and help this young man.

      • Antonio da Cruz

        My empathy is as strong as yours and when merited I am the first to assist. However, a vague appeal on social media that makes no effort to authenticate the situation but fudges the story has to be treated with suspicion. You would be a fool not to fact check.

    • Sandy

      Both stories may be a wrong

      • Annelie Jordaan

        I sincerely wish in never happened, but unfortunately it is the truth and a reality I must deal with. With all the hoaxes and scams i fully understand your suspicions but this is the truth

        • Beunita Erasmus

          Annelie I cant imagine that people doesn’t belive this hppend. But for sure I am a witness to this. I stood next to his hospital bed. Im also going to see him again today. And my heart is broken for him. It’s going to be a long road to recovery. So please pray for him and his loving family.

    • Yvonne Pietersen

      I agree. Not even a mention of his employer, or medical aid, workmen’s comp. I cannot trust this article till I hear direct from his employer. Far too many con artists around.

      • Annelie Jordaan

        I do understand your concern, WCA pays for closest medical centre…for a transfer there must be motivations etc which must be approved….red tape…i cant wait for that…I want my son to get to a hospital with the best facilities and best doctors just like any other mom would have done in this position.

    • Yvonne Pietersen

      Where does Jonathan fit this story

      • Chantelle

        Hope it’s not the same Jonathan Marsden that screwed many with his ponzi scheme a few years back.

        • Annelie Jordaan

          I am Annelie Jordaan,, Erick Breedt ‘s mother. I can assure you that Jonathan Marsden is the most sincere and honest person Ive ever met. he has been a family friend for the past 15 years and just assist me with fundraising as i was with my son in hospital/

    • We got conned with the Tsavo Waterman scam. Thoroughly agree with you. This needs verification

      • Aj Visser

        Please see the responses from Erics mum and myself. I assure you it is not a scam 🙁 Erick was so excited when he joined and his mum always kept us up to date on his training. Was so exciting and nice to see a young man follow his dream. Then this accident. My heart just stopped. There is not a day that goes by that Annalien and Eric are in my thoughts and prayers

    • Gwampie

      It is a good thing to fact check in this day and age, and I can tell you this really happened. His full name is Erick Breedt. He is one of the very brave unsung heros of Protrack APU that put their lives on the line on a daily basis. So with that info you can do a bit more research. I hope Erick makes a speedy recovery!

      • Annelie Jordaan

        thank you Gumpie

    • Annelie Jordaan

      I am Annelie Jordaan , Ericks mother…and I can personally assure you that my son is in hospital and that incident did happen.

      • Antonio da Cruz

        Thank you Annelie for the confirmation. Was he working for the game lodge or park that owned the elephants at the time of the accident?

      • Antonio da Cruz

        Thank you for the confirmation.

        • Annelie Jordaan

          My pleasure and the reason for my surname being different to that of Ericks is that Jordaan is my maiden name and Erick has his father’s surname

    • Aj Visser

      I can also assure you this is a real story and my heart goes out to Annelie and family.

  • ScottSacco

    There’s something that I can’t get out of my head…the lions that are aware of their fate, some may have seen what happened and are locked in cages scared to death.
    The human garbage that runs this sick cowardly death camp certainly does not care for the lions and they likely are neglected and abused, probably tormented constantly to make them more aggressive like a natural lion should be. I hate these murderous “things” so bad, I always have, I would love to hunt the hunters. I would be proud to have all of their ugly heads hung on a fence so I could take target practice with my blow-darts and throwing knives, and send the pictures to their friends and families.

  • Hannes Botha

    I saw this young man in the Tzaneen hospital.He was in the room next to my late brother who passed away on the 3rd February. I was told that he had been gored by an elephant. THIS IS NOT A SCAM.

  • Thanks for you comments folks. We can assure you that this incident did happen. This was confirmed prior to posting with the anti-poaching team in question. Our CEO is currently on assignment a short distance from where the incident happened, and spoke to colleagues of the rangers who found Erick shortly after the incident, and provided assistance. Keep the passion.

    • Annelie Jordaan

      Thank you Africa Geo for informing the wildlife fraternity of this unfortunate incident where my son was injured so badly whilst chasing his dream and passions, and doing what he love.

  • Annelie Jordaan

    Thank you Africa Geo for informing the wildlife fraternity of this unfortunate incident where my son was injured so badly whilst chasing his dream and passions, and doing a job that he love.

  • Aj Visser

    I know his mother. Followed his training on facebook when he started. Such devastating news. It was his passion. Sending prayers everyday for his recovery and strength for his family on this long road ahead.

Africa Geographic