A family in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, suffered a terrifying ordeal when an angry elephant attacked their 4×4 Ford and flipped it upside-down with its tusks! Watch video below.
The family – a mother and father with their two children aged 8 and 10 – were in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, heading to the beach along the Cape Vidal road. The incredible video was taken by a passenger in a car that was behind them.
The occupants of the car behind were distraught, and powerless to do anything except bang on their hooter to try and distract the bull elephant. However the wild animal was in no mood to stop until he had wrecked his target.
Thirusha Naidoo, who captured the video, told the Zululand Observer that there had been four cars that had stopped to watch the elephant.
“My eight-year-old daughter, who is wildlife crazy, noticed the elephant was starting to become agitated, and flapping its ears,” she said. Because of the elephant’s behaviour, the two cars at the front drove forward whilst Naidoo’s vehicle and another car behind them reversed.
She told ZO: “The elephant began to follow us. We continued to reverse, but the other vehicle decided to stop, obviously in the hope the elephant would stop going after us.”
However, as shown in the video, the elephant then turned on that vehicle… and overturned it. Once he had used his tusks and trunks and his 6000kg of weight to roll the car he then swivelled it on its sun roof and, satisfied the job was done, strolled off calmly.
The family cowered inside until game rangers, who had been summoned by the car behind, arrived at the scene.
A rescuer said: ”They were absolutely terrified and extremely traumatised by what happened and were in fear that the elephant would return and attack them again.
“It is very fortunate for all inside that the elephant did not pierce the side of the car with his tusks as that could have been certain death for anyone sitting in their path.
“It is thought the male elephant was in musth which means it has surging levels of his testosterone hormone which makes him sexually hyperactive and very aggressive.
“Unfortunately for this family the elephant took its temper on not having a female around to try and mate with, out on their car.
“The family were very shaken and a little bruised but I think it will be a while before they take a drive through an elephant reserve on their travels again,” she said. (The eight-year-old in the car behind, who witnessed the scary incident, said it hasn’t stopped her from wanting to be a game ranger!)
The 560,000 acre park in KZN is centred on Lake St Lucia, which is full of hippos and crocodiles with elephants and leopards and giraffe in the grasslands.
The family were thought to have loaded their four bikes up on the Ford 4 x 4 and were heading for Catalina Bay when they ran into the rogue elephant spoiling for a fight.
iSamangaliso Wetland Park’s Communication manager Bheki Manzini said: “While such incidents are not a common occurrence in iSimangaliso, we wish to caution our visitors to always remain vigilant and maintain a 50m distance between them and wildlife, particularly the big five as human-wildlife conflicts sometimes do happen since the animals are wild and roam freely in the park.
“We are grateful that no life was lost during this incident. Based on management’s investigation, there will be no action taken against the elephant in question.”
The car definitely came off second best – with most of its panels and the roof stoved in, and the windscreen was left shattered – and had to be recovered by a pick-up truck.
P.S. Don’t miss this week’s ZO Weekender for an exclusive interview with the family.
VIDEO: Elephant overturns vehicle in KZN, South Africa
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