In light of my recent elephant walk on the Garden Route tour, I wanted to do a bit more research about African elephant handling. Colleen, our tour guide had to change our elephant walk plans at the last second because the reserve that we were going to visit had an accident the previous week. She said that the elephants killed a couple of the trainers one morning, and therefore the park was closed.
I wanted to find a news article to confirm or deny this story, but I could not find a current one online. I did stumble upon this article about an elephant handler who was trampled to death in Johannesburg last month. Reading this article definitely made me think twice about the domestication of these massive creatures! The accident consisted of the handler falling off the back of an elephant, but there was "no maliciousness of any sort displayed by the elephants."
There have also been quite a few elephants overturning cars in the reserve, but the authorities stated that the tourists did not take proper precautions. In the most recent case, the tourists turned off the car when the elephant began charging... the owner of the reserve thought that they should've just driven away.