An angry bull elephant charged at a South African game preserve vehicle, and wildlife observers ran for their lives recently.
Field and Stream reported that a group of instructors and trainees driving through the Selati Game Preserve came upon a group of sex-crazed elephants in late November or early December.
One bull elephant, likely an African bush elephant and pumped up with testosterone, set its sights on a jeep. Lucky for us, one person had a camera and took a short video. Another vehicle had another shorter video.
By the way, we’re talking about a six-ton, 13-foot tall battering ram with six-foot-long tusks.
Elephant First Video A Doozy
The bull elephant makes like a fake charge slowly. Then it continues to advance, and trouble starts.
The massive animal takes off, hooking the vehicle’s grill. Then, in a few short seconds, the animal lifts and tosses everyone to the side. The camera looks like everyone does a barrel roll. Passengers go flying but stay remarkably unhurt.
I can’t say much for the vehicle, however. The second video shows the elephant’s handiwork and a piece of metal compacted like a crushed soda can. People run toward the camera, trying to put as much space between themselves and the beast.
Company Downplays Elephant Disaster
Now for the positive spin.
EcoTraining, the company involved in the wildlife guide training, took to Facebook to clarify the videos. The company said, “the vehicle stopped to observe the elephants and give them a chance to settle down.”
Well, that proved to be the opposite of what happened. I’m not sure seeing all those people helped.
According to a Thailand park, elephants have poor to moderate eyesight. The animal can only see short distances up to 32 to 65 feet. However, what they lack in vision, the parks said they make it up in excellent hearing, sense of smell, and tactile feel.
EcoTraining CEO Alan Storm confirmed the incident but could not comment further on the matter during the investigation. EcoTraining branding is visible in the video. Storm said it happened in an area near Hoedspruit.
A press release said experienced guides with over 25 years of work supervised the trainee guides. The safari company also stated it had an excellent reputation for safety.
EcoTraining reported that all affected people received professional counseling. But not for seeing the sex-crazed elephants, of course.
Social media reacted, thankful that no one got hurt. Some related that the situation looked to happen so quickly that there was no time for the driver to retreat.
Some sided with the animals, and that’s ok too.
What we observed from all videos seems different,” Riandi Appelgryn posted. “But as long as all is safe and the animals did not get injured or killed, we can move past this and learn from this incident.”