Getting up close and personal with some of the wildest animals in nature is the main attraction of a safari vacation.
Unfortunately for two British tourists, one elephant took his brief too seriously.
The newly engaged couple’s car was rammed, skewered, and overturned by a bull elephant, who jumped out after trying to slam into the car in front.
Amazingly, the couple, who are named locally Chris Hare and Helen Jennings, both 40, escaped the incident in South Africa’s Kruger National Park with only minor in.jur.ies.
Mr. Hare said: ‘When I got to the bend, the big guy was right in front of us. He walked towards us, and I pulled off the road.
‘The elephant appeared to walk past the car but then turned around, pushed a tusk against the door, and rolled the car. It was terrifying, and I just thought, “But this can’t be happening.” ‘
Vasti Fourie, who was traveling in a convoy through the park when she witnessed the a.tt.ack on the hatchback, said: ‘It dashed towards the side of the car, picked it up with its tusks, dropped the roof, and calmly walked away.
‘It all happened so quickly. Once we drove around the corner, the driver of the flipped car was kneeled in shock.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life, and I’m sure they haven’t either.” From Stockton-on-Tees, Mr. Hare and Ms. Jennings are said to have spent three days in the national park before flying to Durban.
Rangers later said they found blo.od in the British couple’s car and suggested the elephant might have had a tooth abscess.
It is currently being monitored to see if it needs treatment. South Africa National Parks spokesman Reynold Thakhuli warned tourists to be extra care around wild animals and didn’t let anything stick out of their vehicles.
He said: ‘When you see an animal approaching, don’t panic and try to move away as quickly as possible.
‘Elephants can be very dan.ger.ous when they feel thre.at.ened.’