A safari tour turned into a nightmare after an enormous elephant became enraged and rushed at the truck.
The incident was captured on footage which begins quite peacefully. The video, shot at Botswana’s Chobe National Park, began with a herd of elephants crossing a quiet dirt road.
Thick clusters of trees line the road, where elephants can be seen; partially concealed by the leaves. The rumbling sounds of their vocalisation is thunderous as they trumpet majestically among themselves.
Passengers are treated to the sight of a sweet baby elephant crossing the road with its mother, perfectly content as it trots along under the intense blue of the Botswana sky. At one point, the mother guides her calf with her trunk; a soothing, reassuring gesture.
However, little did those in the safari truck know the serenity was about to be shattered; with the power of these gentle giants becoming terrifyingly apparent.
There is the sound of cracking branches and a deafening roar. The camera spins around just in time to capture a huge and furious elephant crashing through the vegetation towards them.
The truck driver attempts to speed away from the incensed creature. However, when the camera is turned towards the back of the truck, it is apparent the elephant is giving chase.
The elephant quickly gains pace and – in a scene straight out of Jurassic Park – bashes her gigantic head against the speeding truck.
Sadly her tusk is damaged during the effort, pieces of it splintering sickeningly and scattering about the road.
With another monstrous roar, the elephant finally relents; stopping the chase and allowing the truck to drive off.
I can only imagine the relief felt by the dramatically smaller passengers as the truck put some distance between them and the enraged beast…
Kwando river, Chobe National Park, Botswana..???? pic.twitter.com/tQQD6sFvBr
— Vandevelde Solange (@solavandevelde1) August 16, 2018
— ROAM (@roam_here) August 19, 2018
According to the National Geographic, scientific director of ElephantVoices Joyce Poole, explained how trumpeting can imply an elephant feels threatened.
According to Poole, the vehicle made a mistake by separating a mother and baby from the rest of the herd. She reasoned the charging elephant was probably the herd’s matriarch who was concerned for the safety of her family.
Poole explained how the speed and posture of the elephant meant this probably wasn’t intended to be a serious attack.
Thankfully, Poole was also confident the elephant would likely be okay following her snapped trunk, as the nerves did not appear to be exposed.
— Maléfica? (@malemalefica) August 16, 2018
In Botswana ?? today for one last safari: a game drive through Chobe National Park followed by a wildlife cruise along the Chobe River. pic.twitter.com/WEeE7zhmmb
— Jessica Browner (@jabrowner) August 17, 2018
As for the humans, they escaped unscathed according to the passenger who filmed the frightening encounter, Ichiro Sekine. Ichiro explained how they were all perfectly fine; even laughing with relief once it was apparent they would be okay.
Those who have watched the video found the situation frightening, while still empathising with the angry elephant.
One person commented, ‘you intrude into their space the elephants get angry’, while another reasoned, ‘elephants have very good reasons to get mad at humans’.
— See Africa (@seeafricatv) August 9, 2018
Here’s hoping the elephant makes a full recovery.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.