The occupants of the vehicle, Sarah Brooks and Jans de Klerk, were admitted to hospital after the elephant overturned their vehicle and pushed it off the road. De Klerk was unharmed, while the elephant’s tusk pierced Brooks’s thigh.
News24 reported that the reader who submitted the video footage asked not to be named, but explained that they'd been following the elephant, driving behind Brooks and De Klerk's blue VW.
‘It soon became clear to the reader that the elephant was getting agitated and they decided to fall back and keep at a safe distance. Warning signs given by elephants include flapping of the ears or a mock charge where the ears are fully spread with its head down. In the video the elephant can be seen and heard doing both but at no point does the blue VW attempt to back away slowly. Instead it can be seen driving on and getting even closer to the elephant,’ News24 reported.
As far as I can see from the video, the elephant gave the driver of the VW a number of fair warnings to back off. Its agitation is clear. If people want to enjoy self-drive wildlife experiences in Africa they should first take some lessons in reading animal behaviour, to avoid putting both themselves and the animals at risk.
Was this an unnecessarily aggressive elephant that deserved to be killed, or did the drivers of the VW behave irresponsibly? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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