The 4-year-old son of a wildlife photographer in Zimbabwe fearfully walked up to a 6-ton African elephant to “hello” and pet the giant animal on its body as it ate.
In the video, shot by his mother, Lesanne Fowler, you can hear her say in amazement of her son, “God, it’s unbelievable, just so chilled.”
Frosty, meanwhile, was able to accurately describe some of the reactions from commenters under the YouTube video (shown below).
“Charge da parents wit [sic] reckless endangerment,” one wrote.
“And the award for the dumbest parents goes to…” wrote another.
But what the video and description don’t reveal is that at Imire Game Park in Wedza, Headlands, Zimbabwe, elephants, and giraffes are always around, as evidenced in the photos on the park’s Facebook page.
When Fowler was asked if the youngster walked up to the elephant on his own and if it was safe, she replied: “He went there on his own, but he was very familiar with people and children. There were also handlers a few meters away.
The video description said Fowler was photographing a wildlife artist when her son went “to say hello”. Watch as the boys stand side by side and interact with an elephant.
“My son is particularly awed with animals, and I wanted to exploit that, obviously always taking precaution as well though,” Fowler said. “He was not in any danger.”
A photo on the cover of Imire Rhindo and the Wildlife Conservation website showing two elephants walking in front of a large group of people is an example of the closeness between elephants and humans.
The organization’s homepage said, “Experience the Miracle of Imire. Just 90 minutes from Harare, Imire has something to offer everyone.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a day or two of world-class food and hospitality at Imire Lodge, or spend a little bit longer volunteering in Africa, doing hands-on with our elephants and rhinos. Either experience guarantees you a great time while contributing to an important conservation cause. ”
Obviously, the hands-on sometimes applies to guests as well.