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What to do around Elephants

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ecojunkie
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:25 pm

Just wait! And hope an official vehicle comes along and can 'persuade' him to move off. Unfortunately these are usually younger bulls asserting their dominance over something.....probably unable to do so over their peers or older ellies!

As I said earlier, once aggression is shown don't provoke the ellie again - it might just get worse.
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Orange » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:26 pm

Haven't had too close a call in Kruger with Ellies, but had a bit of a moment in Addo at the one waterhole. A whole family of elephants (we estimate over 50) decided to come drink, and a couple of them decided to go walk on the road nearby. I was at the back of the group of cars watching, and at the first sign of aggro I would've been out of there. But the Isuzu bakkie at the front of the queue was VERY close to the ellies, and when we spoke to them later they were still a bit shaken by how close they'd been!

Elephants are fairly cute from a respectful distance, but from about 2m from your front bumper? A fair bit intimidating!

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby ecojunkie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:34 pm

I have been in the middle of an angry herd of ellies - awesome experience. We had passed the herd, and a short while later found mating lions. We stopped to watch the lions and did not realise the ellies had come up behind us. The next thing they were screaming, trumpeting, etc and running around us as they smelled and then chased the lions. It all happened so fast, and was such an incredible experience we forgot to use our cameras!

Not only were we unharmed - but so was the car both inside and outside......
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby p@m » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:47 pm

Just wait! And hope an official vehicle comes along and can 'persuade' him to move off

:lol: Thanks ej :thumbs_up:

@Orange -- funnily enough we find the Addo ellies very calm and laid back compared to the Kruger variety and far more tolerant of tourists :D

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby alleycat » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:01 pm

[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/al359wood1/6901629000/in/photostream/[/img]

Never posted a photo before but lets try show a culprit, NoT sure if it will come out, if not I'll try again or maybe one of you have a photo to remind us what we have to man up to.
I believe the Portuguese Elephants from Moz can be grumpy, Maybe its because they cant understand the locals
I know you should never drive up slowly and then hoot, rev,screech off or worse pull their tails when you have the upper hand. :naughty:
Thats because i could be the next one round the corner and you might just mistake that trunk for a tail :whistle:
What you do do, is follow a caravaner and hide behind them, because i see they have no choice but to close their windows sit there and screem so no one can hear them. Sneak past the caravaner on the clear side when the elly draws up alongside them, that should work. :hmz: Remember to thank the caravaner and offer wet wipes when he finally catches up.

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby p@m » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:15 pm

:funny:

:lol: Just love your description alleycat :thumbs_up:

need to sign in to see pic

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Madalla » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:15 pm

This is one of the nice things about driving a motorhome - it is bigger than an ellie and they always retreat quickly when you approach.
If only they knew how flimsy it really is!!
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Dotty » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:22 pm

alleycat wrote:[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/al359wood1/6901629000/in/photostream/[/img]

Never posted a photo before but lets try show a culprit, NoT sure if it will come out, if not I'll try again or maybe one of you have a photo to remind us what we have to man up to.
.

I see your pic is in Flickr To see it here have a look at it in your photostream and see the "button" above that says SHARE drop it down and copy the gobbleygook to your post (BBCode)That should do it :thumbs_up:
Great pic :clap:
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Foxy » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:56 pm

Tears running down my cheeks from a good laugh. :lol:
Jokes aside, we have also had some hairy experiences with ellies - I normally admire my eyelids or check out my toe nails :lol:

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Viewfinder » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:44 am

I had quite a giggle when I saw this thread...that feeling of "got to get out of the way now!" just comes back to me so clearly :lol: This lady charges us last year in Kruger on the S65. She was eating just off the side of the road, next thing she turned to us (still about 20m from us) started to flap her ears and throw sand with her trunk, obviously not impressed with our presence! We did a reverse of about 40 m back down the hill :D Well, I can laugh now, but it was pretty scary then. This is my first attemp at adding a photo so I hope it works. Can't remember even taking it... 8)

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Elsa » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:21 pm

Lots of other interesting and stories and good advice Here :thumbs_up:
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Exbrakpanite » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:30 am

Use your ZOOM lens to diminish his size!!!!
In Etosha I decided to photograph an approaching large bull elephant but make him small against a background of looming clouds. I zoomed out with my 16-35mm lens. I could hear my wife spluttering, as the distant elephant approached. I took my last shot, and put the camera down to find the elephant looming outside my drivers window. He eyed me as he gently pawed the ground. I sat very still and he went on his way! I now know how powerful that zoom effect is.

The day before we watched a bull elephant drinking with his back to us. We parked 40 meters further on well away from the elephant's well worn path leading back from Fischer's pan to Klein Okevi waterhole. As we had hoped, he turned and trod his path, but at the road did'nt cross over but turned right to come closer and closer right behind us. We saw the tusks through the rear view mirror and then the rear window!!. Suddenly the car bounced three times as he repeatedly pushed down on our roof rack. We just sat. After a few tense moments, he seemingly was satisfied with our shock absorbers and springs, because he then left us and went on to Klein Okevi. Phew.

What to do with elephants? The advice given on this forum by the two open topics is excellent.

It is sometimes very difficult to reverse back e.g. towing a trailer, cars behind you, or very narrow path. You of course can never predict the strange and dangerous behaviour of some fellow tourists. We had a bus charge a large bull at Newbrowni waterhole in Etosha for a laugh!. The driver didnt see we were right next to him Be extra cautious with some elephants. Assess if they are in musth (Hindi word for mischievious): secretion from temporal gland between eye and ear associated with dribbled urine staining back legs. Also be careful not to seperate mother and calf.

We follow the advice in the excellent animal behaviour book "Beat about the Bush" by Trevor Carnaby (Jacana Press):- We pull over to give the elephant room to pass, turn off engine and airconditioner, close windows, and wait. Carnaby states if your airco carries on buy another car! I will now add the excellent advice gleaned from these superforum discussions to our procedure count down: turn off the lights and for smokers dont!
This patient approach has worked for us up till now with bulls passing gently inches from or scared ghostly white Landcruiser. I do keep forgetting what the characteristics are of a mock or real charge!. I suppose there will be no time to check if the latter happens.
Last edited by Exbrakpanite on Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby threedogs » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:11 am

Exbrakpanite, I swear those Etosha elephants make me more nervous :lol: You are right too; some people freak out and make things dangerous for everyone. We were at a waterhole near Halali in Etosha when ourselves and about 3 other cars ended up pulled up one behind the other on a loop track because there were a few big ellies up ahead loitering about on the road, slowly making their way to the water. Everyone in the cars had stopped and turned the car off. We were second in the line and a few cows came out of the bush to the left and started to cross the track in front of the cars quite close. It was no bother they were relaxed but the last cow and the biggest took her time and stopped in the middle of the track not far from the first car. (There were no babies or juveniles in the group of ellies) Right at that worst moment the first car panicked and started their car and tried to reverse which annoyed the cow! The driver was gesticulating to us to go backwards but we couldn't and wouldn't because no one else behind us was moving! If they just sat quietly she would have gone on her way. As it was, luckily, she shook her head a couple of times, turned to face the cars as if deciding what to do, but then moved on.
And if an ellie tested out my car shocks I think the my shocks would give way :shock: :lol:
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:30 pm

I have been to THAT reserve in the country to the north of us (Capetonians) in the rainy season and seen 1 ele in 4 days, 500 metres away. They disperse after the rains, looking for the best water.

In the dry season they are nearer the pan. I didn't have any ele problems there, but in Bots........
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:39 am

I tend not to be afraid of ellies, but I do respect them.

I have never had a problem with bull ellies, but I have had a couple of encounters with "big mamas".


Once when with my daughter, a car in front of us got far too close and familiar with a breeding herd. They drove off, cameras and heads out of the window having obtained their ellie shots.

Big mama decided enough was enough and came to clear the road :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: only, I was in the firing line. My daughter remined me that attack was unlikely if you were not seen as a threat.

I moved as close to the side of the road as possible and switched off my engine. Big mama gave a mock charge and turned away in disgust. Maybe the smell from my car :wink:

Here I was photographing a breeding herd close to Kanniedood.

Next thing:

Image

big mama was giving me the eye. They are so silent, I had failed to notice her behind the tree. I don't know who got the biggest fright. :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

We both made a noise :big_eyes:

mine different to hers. :wink:

This was one of those ultra stupid moments. :roll:

If you look at the small car behind this massive bull ellie, it is the car that holds the man, that holds the camera.. that climbed out to get a closer pic.

Image

Thank goodness he was not an aggresive ellie.
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