They’ve been snapped by amazed safari tourists. But on a trip in South Africa, one elephant clearly wanted to be the star of the show – and even posed for a selfie.
A bull elephant approached the guide convoy of American tourist Chan Wei Lin, 20, from California, when he was sitting in a vehicle with a guide.
When the elephant noticed the vehicle, he immediately checked out a nearby van containing students from Thomas’ university, Azusa Pacific.
Thomas was less than an arm’s length from the elephant when it approached, and he described it as one of the most adrenaline-filled experiences of his life.
He even murmured, “Oh s***” as the elephant approached.
At the time, the bull had been tracking several females and their calves as they traveled across the planes in a wild game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
According to Thomas after entering the shot for a selfie, the elephant stretched out with its trunk to take control of the camera. ‘I was shocked that I managed to get so close to the elephant.
‘At one point, we were so close; I could’ve put my hand out and touched it. While I was posing for a photo with it, it swung its trunk over as though to grab the camera, too.
‘I have never felt so small and vulnerable – the elephant could’ve had its way with us if it wanted to. ‘All of the others in the jeep with me were equally frightened and in awe as I was.
‘After we returned, my safari guide informed me that she was nervous and unsure of what to do. She said that if the elephant had charged us, she wouldn’t have known what to do.’