Raging Elephant Charges Safari Tour as Jeep Tries to Escape the Chase in Reverse
That’s about as terrifying as it gets.
In a dramatic video shared to Twitter on Saturday, a group of tourists were jostled around as they were chased by a large elephant on a jeep safari tour in South Africa.
The stunning video was taken by a tourist sitting at the back of the safari’s jeep, who recorded the elephant aggressively stomping toward the front of the vehicle as the remaining passengers held on for dear life.
According to CBS News, who shared the original video, the driver “desperately tried to reverse away from the charging animal,” which is evident in the video as the driver at the front is frantically turning the wheel to flee the elephant.
One of the passengers can also be heard saying “hang on” in a panic as the elephant trumpets loudly and bolts toward the safari vehicle.
Other passengers in the safari can be seen taking out their phones to record videos, but quickly put them down in order to hold on tightly inside the jeep.
CBS noted that the average African elephant can run up to 30 miles per hour, and according to researchers, elephants are becoming increasingly aggressive toward humans over time.
The frightening video quickly went viral, and as of Wednesday evening, has almost 19,000 retweets and over 52,000 likes.
According to South African National Parks, elephants are considered to be typically peaceful animals, but females can become aggressive when young calves are present.
All elephants tend to have increased aggressiveness toward humans when they are sick, injured or harassed.
According to the website, the case of an elephant directly charging a group of humans typically arises as a “mock charge,” which are broken off before the target — in this case, the safari — is reached.
However, if an attack is followed through, an elephant is easily capable of killing the intended human targets, as well as other elephants and animals. They can also cause significant damage to cars, South African National Parks notes.