A playful elephant recently wandered into a game lodge in South Africa to quench its thirst for a swimming pool. It provided an unforgettable close-up encounter for a game ranger who captured the event on film.
Eugene Troskie, a 34-year-old wildlife manager, was relaxing on the deck of Lion Place Lodge, which he operated within the Grietjie Private Game Reserve inside Kruger National Park when a herd of elephants appeared.
As a young male elephant, estimated to be around 20 years old, began to drink from the pool using its trunk, Troskie quickly grabbed his phone to record the astonishing moment.
Watch the video at the end.
Unexpectedly, the elephant approached Troskie, leaning against a tree, to feed on fresh shoots. The elephant seemed unaware of Troskie’s presence, allowing its tusk to rest briefly on the ranger’s shoulder.
Troskie remained calm, drawing on his ten years of experience as a game ranger to avoid startling the magnificent creature.
Lion Place Lodge, located near Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province, is home to the “Big 5” of African wildlife: elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and rhinoceroses.
The 2,800-hectare savannah reserve often sees herds of elephants visiting a nearby waterhole. Some occasionally venture into the lodge area for a drink from the pool, much to the guests’ delight.
Troskie, a married father of one, shared his thoughts on the extraordinary experience: “It was the most incredible of encounters to have a wild elephant who was unaware of your presence rest his tusk on you, but I knew I was never in any danger from the animal.”
Watch the video below:
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