WATCH: Safari Guides Remain Calm and Cool in the Face of Charging Elephant

by Craig Garrett
An elephant bull kicking up sand as a warning after a mock charge - stock photo

A viral video shows two safari guides with the courage to stand their ground in front of a charging elephant, giving it a chance at life. Although they easily could have chosen to shoot the behemoth in order to save themselves, this pair decided to give it the benefit of the doubt instead. The enraged three-ton beast was quickly approaching Devon Myers, 38, and Sean Carter, 37, ready to trample them.

The experienced off-trail guides shouted at the top of their voices and stood firm. The rampaging elephant in Kruger National Park’s Pafuri region stopped attacking. The elephant was only yards away from Myers, Carter, and their six guests who were cowering beneath a tree. The elephant trumpeted loudly, sending up a cloud of dust.

Myers works at African-Born Safaris, which takes clients on private adventures off-the-beaten-track in eight countries. “It was a very close call for sure, he told The Daily Mail. “If it had come to a fraction of a second closer we would have had no choice,” he added. “There was a herd of female elephants and their young moving quickly. They were being followed by five bull elephants keen to try their luck on them.”

“What we are doing out on these primitive trail walks is giving people a chance to reconnect with the wilderness in a natural but non-threatening way. It is not a thrill-seeking activity, although spotting an elephant or lion while on foot will certainly raise the pulse, but by and large we all get on together.”

This isn’t the first close call the guides have had with elephants

“By going off the roads used by safari vehicles we are also coming across vital intelligence of poacher activity,” Myers explained. However, the tour has had other close calls. “I have been charged a number of times by elephants but fortunately have never had to pull the trigger, Myers admitted.”This was for sure a very close call indeed.”

On a Primitive Trails walking safari, visitors will sleep under the stars and drink from rivers instead of sleeping in tents like other guests. “Your water comes from the streams the animals drink from. The food you carry and when you sleep you lay down and you sleep,” Myers explained.

A female fully-grown elephant can weigh up to 3.3 tons and stand 8 feet and 6 inches at the shoulder. It is so fast that it could run at up to 25mph, quickly catching a fleeing human if needed.

Male elephants can weigh up to twice as much as females, growing to 10 feet 6 inches at the shoulder. There are an estimated 415,000 left in the world today. They are listed as endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mainly due to poaching activities. They have a lifespan averaging 70 years and are currently the largest living land animal on earth.