Four hikers were attacked by a buffalo bull on a hiking trail in Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP) earlier this month (July 2010). All four hikers were injured in the attack and one of the party, Johan Schmidt died at the scene of the accident.
The buffalo attacked the group at about 11:15 shortly after they started walking on the Imbila Hiking Trail. The other three hikers, Marie Schmidt, wife of the deceased, and Sam and Marianne Sieberhagen, were transported to Cradock Hospital after receiving attention from park staff and paramedics at the scene.
Park rangers followed the spoor of the lone buffalo bull from the scene of the accident but were unable to locate the animal. Rangers suspect the buffalo’s unusually aggressive behaviour may indicate that it is sick or injured.
Hiking trails had been closed until further notice. South African National Parks (SANParks) will conduct an investigation into the incident and following this, determine whether hiking trails in the Park will be reopened.