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What to do around Elephants

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threedogs
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby threedogs » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:43 am

Scipio, is there that little windy bit of track that goes to Sable Dam with all the dense bush around like in that top photo? That bit of track always gets me antsy. We came around a corner there last year and met a few of your ellie friends :shock: I don't like the feeling of being hemmed in and with no manouvering room when you get surprised like that. :lol:
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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby Scipio » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:00 pm

The one and only 3D, :lol: I can show pics and related stories of Ellies in that piace for hours on end. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Bull Elephants Advancing on your car

Unread postby nighthawk2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:28 pm

Robertson, seems like your adventure was accidental - ours was somewhat intentional.
A few years back, we were parked at the waterhole in Addo, last in a series of cars viewing the comings & goings. out from the bush behind us ambled out a family group on their way to the waterhole. They passed at most 10 metres from the car. We sat & watched, then they turned & were headed for the bush but instead of going back exactly the way they came, headed straight for us. All the other cars decided to retreat while we stood our ground carefully observing the body language. In no time we were surrounded, just marvelled at the beauty & gentleness of these awesome creatures. Only thing we had to do was roll up the windows because they started to stick their trunks in!
The others may have thought we were stupid but an incident from one of our first trips to Mikumi, we passed a small family of elephants & stopped a short distance ahead to observe. In no time they were beside us & not being experienced as well as it being our last day, we didn't want any bad memories, so we asked the driver to move on. His response was to sit tight, don't make any noise & observe, otherwise they would probably charge.
What happened next will always remain with us. Two young adults passed in front of us and stood guard on either side of the road. Next came the matriach with a young calf followed by another young adult. The matriach crossed the road with the youngster and headed off into the bush. Then the guard peeled off & followed her.
From then on we've always watched for the body language to dictate what is appropriate. Don't drive right up or worse split the group.
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Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby granny » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:47 pm

Been reading and discussing different opinions on what to do around Elephants in the park. Should one drive slowly slowly away,wait whilst car is idling, or switch off engine completely? If the Elephant is in middle of the road walking towards the car, should one reverse or do one of the above? :hmz:

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DuQues
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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:29 pm

All animals (including humans) have different zones, from comfortable to too close (attack!). You can read more in this pdf.
That pdf is more aimed at lions and such, but the principle is the same.

So keep distance, and relax. Observe what the ellie is doing.
If it is eating, no problem.
If it starts ear flapping and/or kicking up dust you are too close.
If the ears flatten and the trunk rolls up it is time to get the hell out of its way. A charge will come!
Now in the last case you may have made not one error (getting too close) but two: turning off the engine.

However you can become enclosed in a herd without knowing it. Then it is a matter of turning off engine and fans. Relax and make photos.
The making photos is one you should do with an eye on the ellies though. Many lenses use an Ultrasonic motor for focusing. You can not hear that sound, ellies can! And they do not like the sound. If you notice them taking offence at it set the lens to manual focus, or stop photographing.

Ellies in the road can force you to reverse. There the zone system comes in again, make sure you reverse far enough, and he/she will soon veer off to a yummy looking branch. And the next, the next, and soon you have the space to pass.
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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby granny » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:12 pm

Thank you.

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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby Duke Ellieton » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:15 pm

granny, do you have an entry permit to KNP from one of your trips. There is a section titled, "Elephants - General Rules for safe Viewing"

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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:19 pm

That pdf can be found here but lacks my tip about the photography. ;)
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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby Rooies » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:51 pm

Stay a good distance from a breeding herd
Don't drive between a mother and her calf
Stay clear of bulls that are in musth
If an elephant is charging with ears flapping and trunk in the air, it is trying to intimidate you. But ears folded against the body and trunk between the fore legs, get the hell out of there or say your last prayer.
But, having said that, your chances of being seriously stormed by an ellie is one in a couple of million. (Based on the amount of visitors per year and the reported serious incidents)
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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby NickyG » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:18 pm

Ive had the unnerving experience of being charged 4 times in addo by elephants.

1 x by a juvenile, as big as my car, the rest by varying sizes of bulls.
Elephants a breeding herd just alighted from the bush, a matriachal herd, and obviously mom wasn't happy, and son took exception too, and went off his trolley a bit, and mock charged, trumpeting all the way to within 6m of my car (which was switched off)....the mum, Im sure made a rumble, as if to call the juvenile, as he turned tail, and caught up....and trotted up the dirt road.

In all cases, I can assure yu it was not provoked! Ive been parked in by visitors, with no space to turn, while a huge bull (in musth - urinating, and temp gland streaming) passed by my car, so close, the mud dripped off onto my windsheild. He took no real notice of me, and walked on by. I think I swollowed my heart 3 x that day.

My failsafe course of action is - beleive it or not, to light a cigarette. And leave a window down half way, they get a wiff of it, and give you a berth.

What ever you do, keep calm, and dont lose Ur nerve, give the elephant the respect it deserves in its domain, after all it is the worlds largest mammal. All other advice above is true and sound too.
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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby saraf » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:42 pm

making photos is one you should do with an eye on the ellies though. Many lenses use an Ultrasonic motor for focusing. You can not hear that sound, ellies can! And they do not like the sound. If you notice them taking offence at it set the lens to manual focus, or stop photographing.


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Re: Correct behavior around Elephants

Unread postby granny » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:38 am

NickyG wrote:Ive had the unnerving experience of being charged 4 times in addo by elephants.

1 x by a juvenile, as big as my car, the rest by varying sizes of bulls.
Elephants a breeding herd just alighted from the bush, a matriachal herd, and obviously mom wasn't happy, and son took exception too, and went off his trolley a bit, and mock charged, trumpeting all the way to within 6m of my car (which was switched off)....the mum, Im sure made a rumble, as if to call the juvenile, as he turned tail, and caught up....and trotted up the dirt road.

In all cases, I can assure yu it was not provoked! Ive been parked in by visitors, with no space to turn, while a huge bull (in musth - urinating, and temp gland streaming) passed by my car, so close, the mud dripped off onto my windsheild. He took no real notice of me, and walked on by. I think I swollowed my heart 3 x that day.

My failsafe course of action is - beleive it or not, to light a cigarette. And leave a window down half way, they get a wiff of it, and give you a berth.

What ever you do, keep calm, and dont lose Ur nerve, give the elephant the respect it deserves in its domain, after all it is the worlds largest mammal. All other advice above is true and sound too.

Knew there was a logical reason for me not stopping smoking yet! I also have heard that they get annoyed at the sound of an automatic window being wound down (or up )

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Sticky Situation

Unread postby leo21 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:52 pm

Well we were in the park in December and found ourselves in a rather sticky situation. ..

While in a drive on a sand road close to Malelane we got slightly stuck vin sum very deep mud., a lil but if steering power we go out an proceeded forward not to far fron that two big elephant bulls came marching diwn the road, we sat frima distance watching tgem hoping they mive back into the bush. Knowing what lied behind us (the deep mud) and watching two bulls marching diwn the road on a mission, we gad to make a decision to get out of the vuks way we turned around and got stuck in the mud once again this tine REALLY stuck. Watchingvthe oyher xars fade into the horizontal as they also decided to rather evade tge bulls. ...watching the bulls movibg closer and closer bin my rear view mirror panic set in..pushing hard on the accelerator the car bmived from dude to side just sinking deeper an deeper finally tge car jumped foward abd out we were. Sjoe never been so happy


My question being what does one do when stuck with approaching ellies?

And have u ever been stuck in a sticky situation?

Funny thing is last year we got stuck on the same road when we recersed into a storm drain lol!

Look forward to the responses.....:)
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Re: Sticky Situation

Unread postby Dabchick » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:25 pm

Let me guess... you typed that on touch screen device? :twisted:

Re: the road...

I think I know the road your mean. We had a little problem there once ourselves. It wasn't wet, but we got stuck in the deep-"ish" sand with one wheel spinning. No choice but to get out and push a bit after a good look around and seeing nothing, no dangerous animals, no cars (we didn't check for birds and other small lifeforms)... we pushed the bakkie out of trouble and got back inside in less than 15 seconds -- just in time to notice an elephant bull coming around the corner from the rear :big_eyes: . And to top the experience, 100 m down the road -- 2 male lions right next to the road :lol: It was fun though!

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Re: Sticky Situation

Unread postby Elsa » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:39 am

Quite a lot of good advice Here Leo.
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