A dangerous situation unfolded in the country of India on Saturday when a giant elephant attacked a bus full of people, shattering the windshield with its tusks. Thankfully, those on board the bus had a driver who was ready for the moment.
According to the India Times, a group of government employees was on a bus making their way from Kotagiri to Mettupalayam — a district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. That’s when an elephant came out of nowhere and charged at the bus. Even while the elephant is smashing its tusks into the windshield, the driver doesn’t panic — instead, he calmly backs the bus up away far enough to where the passengers can make an exit to safety.
Supriya Sahu, the Principal Secretary of India’s Environment, Climate Change, and Forest Department, shared a clip of the video on Twitter. She said that she got it from a friend.
“Huge respect for the driver of this Government bus in Nilgiris who kept his cool even under the terrifying hits on the bus from an agitated tusker,” Sahu wrote in a tweet. “He helped passengers move back safely, in an incident today morning. That’s why they say a cool mind works wonders.”
People on Social Media React to Elephant Video
Thankfully, there were no injuries during Saturday’s incident — not even the elephant. It walked away from the scary scene and returned to the forest where it had been heading. Afterward, the driver of the bus was able to transport everyone on board to safety.
Meanwhile, people on social media made sure to give credit where credit is due. They were impressed with the driver of the bus and his ability to stay collected under such intense circumstances.
“Wonderful. Hats off to the brave and cool man,” commented one person.
“Presence of mind,” another person added. “Drivers need this courage and coolness to handle such situations.”
Elephant-Human Conflict is Relatively Common in India
It turns out that dangerous situations between elephants and humans are actually pretty common in India.
According to Newsweek, there were more than 2,300 people in India who were killed by elephants between 2014 and 2019. Not only that, but additional information from the Union Environment Ministry shows that as a result of this conflict, close to 500 people and 100 elephants die every year.
The nonprofit foundation Asian Elephant Support spoke out about these conflicts. As a matter of fact, a statement on the foundation’s website explains that issues arise in part because elephants have lost so much of their habitat to modern development.
“Almost all elephant habitat is surrounded by farmland where locals earn their living and often reside. In many cases, these farmlands are created by clearing prime elephant habitat.”