Game Ranger’s Surprise Poolside Encounter with Thirsty Elephant

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.

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Watch the video at the end.

Fancy Bumping Into You Cheeky Elephant Has Very Close Encounter With Game Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Swimming Pool 1
The juvenile elephant wanders into a game lodge in South Africa to have a slurp of water while wildlife manager Eugene Troskie records the amazing moment. Source: Daily Mail

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.

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Lion Place Lodge, located near Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province, is home to the “Big 5” of African wildlife: elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and rhinoceroses.

Fancy Bumping Into You Cheeky Elephant Has Very Close Encounter With Game Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Swimming Pool 2
As Mr. Troskie rests against a tree bearing juicy shoots, the animal, aged around 20, heads his way to Lion Place Lodge in the Grietjie Private Game Reserve inside Kruger National Park. Source: Daily Mail
Fancy Bumping Into You Cheeky Elephant Has Very Close Encounter With Game Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Swimming Pool 3
Before aiming straight at the ranger, the elephant chomps a short while on some vegetation. Source: Daily Mail
Fancy Bumping Into You Cheeky Elephant Has Very Close Encounter With Game Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Swimming Pool 4
The animal then notices the shoots which Mr. Troskie is sitting against and goes to feast on them. At this point, the ranger stays very still – and the elephant gets so close that his right tusk makes contact with Mr. Troskie’s shoulder. Source: Daily Mail
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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.”

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Cheeky Elephant Was Very Close With Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Pool5
‘If you approached them at their waterhole, they would perceive you as a threat, but when they come into a lodge, everything smells of humans, so they are not surprised by humans,’ said married father-of-one Mr. Troskie. Source: Daily Mail
Cheeky Elephant Was Very Close With Ranger After It Sneaks A Drink From His Pool6
Mr. Troskie also took this picture of a trio of tuskers having a lekker [‘delicious’] drink of water at his lodge. Source: Daily Mail

Watch the video below:

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