Elephant Rams Safari Vehicle, Breaks Tusk

Published 6 Feb 2018, 21:04 GMT
Elephant Rams Safari Vehicle, Breaks Tusk

On the morning of January 20, in Botswana's Chobe National Park, a herd of elephants sounded trumpet-blasts near vehicles on a safari. According to Joyce Poole, scientific director of ElephantVoices and a National Geographic explorer, the trumpeting can mean the elephants felt threatened. The cars separated a mother and baby from the herd, a mistake in Poole’s analysis. Another elephant charges—perhaps the herd's matriarch trying to keep her family safe, notes Poole. The driver raced away, and the elephant chased after. Her speed and posture showed the attack likely wasn't serious, Poole explains. Even so, the huge animal rammed the open-sided vehicle, and snapped a tusk. Poole says the elephant will probably be all right—the tusk's nerves weren't exposed. Ichiro Sekine (関根 一郎), the rider who filmed the jarring encounter, reports that the passengers were all fine, laughing with relief once they knew they were safe.

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