This is the moment the safari host’s attempt to get a closer look at an elephant backfired – when the naughty animal sprayed water into her own swimming pool.
Lisa Saint decided to get into the infinity pool at RockFig Safari Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa, when she saw a herd of elephants standing beside it.
When a curious mammal stuck around to play, she said she was surprised to experience the ‘once-in-a-lifetime encounter and was relieved it was all captured on camera.
Footage shows the elegant African elephant sipping water from a lower pool area as ‘mesmerized’ Lisa, from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, stands shoulder-deep with her elbows resting on the edge.
As the animal began spewing water out of its trunk, it quickly directed it towards the 38-year-old man and sprayed the liquid in her face as guests behind chuckled while Lisa said, ‘thank you’.
The prank elephant closed her eyes to Lisa ‘waiting for her reaction’, but she suppressed the urge to turn around to avoid ‘pushing her luck’.
Lisa said she felt lucky to have experienced such a rare moment. Neither she nor her husband Clint, a safari tour operator, had witnessed anything like it before.
The clip was shared with guests at the motel and quickly started going viral on social media – garnering millions of views without the couple even posting it themselves.
Lisa said: ‘I’ve never had such an experience before, and I’ll probably never see it again. It was fantastic.
‘I’ve seen elephants enjoy drinking from pools, but often as soon as humans get in the water, they leave because it’s a bit too close to be comfortable.
‘The other elephants had left, but this one was a curious baby elephant that wanted to check me out.
‘He was looking straight at me. I was not scared at all. It started drinking, and that’s all I thought it would do.
‘He filled his trunk with water, and then it looked like he was going to cool himself, but then he pointed his trunk towards me and sprayed me right in my face.
‘I just said thank you because I thought he just wanted to play. It was one of those moments where I thought, “I really hope someone is filming this.”
‘I thought it wanted to see how I would react. If I had backed up quickly, I think it would have scared it off, so I thought because it was relaxing.
‘I was so tempted to splash it back and see what it would do, but I didn’t want to push my luck. Looking back, I’m glad someone caught the whole thing on camera. ‘
Lisa said the curious elephant stayed for 40 seconds before returning to her herd, and even observing the lodge staff were ‘blown away’ by the encounter.
Husband Clint, the owner of Live Life African Safari Getaways, organized one of their trips with Lisa when she took a group of women to RockFig Safari Lodge.
The South African-born businessman moved to North Carolina a decade ago and has been visiting safari lodges since he was a kid and said the encounter was one-of-a-kind.
Clint, from Durban, South Africa, said: ‘It was a truly unique experience, and the fact that it happened to Lisa made it even more exciting. I have never seen something like that before.
‘I was like, “Wow, that really just happened.” My wife happened to be at the right place, at the right time, and the cheeky kid decided to spray her some water.
‘Luckily, she’s been exposed to safaris a lot, so she’s pretty calm in those situations; she just taking the moment. It was a strange situation. ‘