Safari tours are very popular with tourists. You can see animals on television, but you cannot see how amazing animals are on TV. Seeing them in person is pretty amazing. When you sign up for a safari tour, you assume that you are going to be safe. Tour guides know the area, and they wouldn’t take tourists to dangerous places. Unfortunately, animals are unpredictable, and tour guides have no way of knowing what they will do. A group of unsuspecting tourists saw first hand how unpredictable animals could be.
Botswana’s Chobe National Park
Botswana’s Chobe National Park spans about 11,700 square kilometers and has been considered a national park since 1968. Over the years, it has become a popular tourist attraction. Each year, 170,000 tourist flock to the area to get a good look at animals up close.
During the 19th century, elephants were at risk of extinction. Poachers in Europe often flocked to the area looking for elephants. It wasn’t the thrill of the kill that brought them; it was the elephant’s ivory tusk. When a large number of elephants had been wiped out, new laws were created. Poaching elephants was illegal, and it took close to 80 years for the population to recover fully. Over the years, the elephant population has thrived.
Because of the sheer size of the elephant, they don’t have any predators in the animal kingdom. The only thing that they need to worry about is to poacher who illegally kills them for their tusks. Since the ivory tusks are worth a lot of money on the black market, poachers are still out there preying on the elephants. While poaching happens less often now, it still happens. Loss of land is another reason that elephants have died.
The Safari Tour
On a sunny morning in January 2018, a group of tourists set out to see some animals. They had a tour guide with them, and they were driving safely in a 4×4. At the beginning of the tour, things went great. The truck full of people were watching the beautiful surroundings, hoping to see something amazing. They didn’t have to wait long to see something that would make the safari well worth it.
Filming the Action
The tour was being filmed the whole time and was later posted on the National Geographic YouTube Channel. At the beginning of the video, the truck travels around a road. In the distance, you can see elephants peeking from behind the bushes. The group could hear their trumpeting. What the group didn’t know was that the trumpeting could have meant one of two things. The elephants could have been excited, or they could have been angry. After tourists on a safari spotted an elephant, they suddenly realized they were in grave danger.
A Mother and Her Baby
The group ignored the trumpeting when they noticed something amazing. A mother elephant was walking across the road with her baby. She was ushering the baby across the street to safety. It was absolutely amazing, and the group was thrilled that they were to see it. Soon, they heard trumpeting, and it got louder and louder. Most of the tourists didn’t see anything wrong with the noise. One tourist says that they believed that elephants made the trumpeting sound all the time; therefore, they weren’t in any danger.
It turned out that the mother and her baby weren’t alone. There was another elephant close behind who was worried about their safety. When the elephant saw the vehicle, it headed straight for them. The tour guide realized quickly what was going on, and he started driving. Unfortunately, the elephant still felt threatened, and he chased the vehicle. Soon, the elephant crashed into the truck. Fortunately, it remained upright. Everyone on board was alright, but the elephant wasn’t.
When the elephant ran into the truck, it broke its tusk. This was dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, an infection could set in, resulting in death. Also, without its tusks, the elephant wouldn’t be able to protect itself and find food. Although elephants are huge, they still need protection while out in the wild.
When experts viewed the video, they said that it didn’t appear that there any damaged nerves, which meant infection wasn’t likely. It was still going to be difficult for the elephant to protect itself and get food. According to the experts, since the elephant traveled with a group, there was a good chance that it would be alright. Many of the tourists were traumatized by the event, but it is something they will never forget. Many say that what happened scared them off of safaris forever, but it was unforgettable.