Seems like jumbos and cars don’t go together! or you can say that hell has no fury like an elephant with an achy tooth. Chris Hare and his companion Helen Jennings escaped unscathed when an angry bull elephant flipped their car over like a toy, but the psychological trauma will follow them for a few days or maybe it will never go away! This was not the first time that such an incident occurred in South Africa. It has happened many times before. On February 2011, Mr John Somers learned the hard way that it is not sound advice to overtake a bull elephant when, after a quick rubbing against, his car was flipped over like a toy as he tried to overtake Amarula, a hulking bull.
Fast forward to 16 Nov 2012: It was angry drama, out of a sci-fi movie, and shock when the elephant went rogue in the Kruger National Park. The jumbo attacked and flipped the couple’s Chevrolet Aveo over. Luckily, they did not suffer any serious injuries. Rangers later said that the bull had a tooth ache and that was probably why it behaved so aggressively.
Not a rare occurrence …
This, the witnesses and victims said, was largely unexpected as none such an incidence has been reported before in the park. According to a witness, identified as Vasti Fourie, the jumbo hauled the Chevrolet Aveo hatchback with its tusk and flipped it over, lightly injuring the two occupants on board. “The elephant was approaching from the side, charged forward towards the side of the car and lifted it up, only to drop it on its roof before taking its leave.”
According to Fourie, the car had stopped to give way to the elephant, in accordance with the rules of the park that cars have to stop and get out of the way for the animals to pass. The driver of the car is said to have frozen in shock on realizing the impending danger, and only managed to get to terms with what had happened moments after their tormentor left.
In a matter of seconds
Fourie, who was driving in another car behind the victims, said the jumbo did the destruction so quickly, and moved on to overturn another car just about 50 meters away from the first incident.
The South Africa National Parks spokesman Thankuli Reynold confirmed the incident saying that the man who was injured during this incident was attended to by a doctor at the scene before being taken to hospital for advanced medical check where he was until then, responding well to treatment.
“These are rare incidents here. We’d like to urge all people visiting the parks to be a little bit more observant and careful as the animals we have here are untamed and irrational. When driving here, it is safer not to have anything protruding from your vehicle as this may upset some of them such as elephants, buffalo and rhinos.” He also advised drivers and visitors to keep as far as possible from the animals as some of them, like elephants can be really dangerous when they feel threatened.
Sometimes, a jumbo could just be moody due to reasons of its own or it could just be that it feels threatened by the human closeness and reacts defensively. However, a toothache could make one very angry, and jumbos are no different! Its this unpredictability that makes the African wild so tantalizing, isnt it?