A safari guide’s composed encounter with a curious elephant at Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa is garnering attention.
Eugene Troskie, 34, a seasoned professional in the field, exhibited extraordinary calm when the enormous creature decided to approach him closely.
Troskie was in an unplanned interaction while fixing the rigid boundary around a waterhole at Lions Place Lodge.
A herd of elephants happened to stroll by during his repair work. To remain unnoticed, Troskie took refuge next to a tree.
Despite his efforts, a curious young elephant spotted him. Troskie managed to quietly capture on film the moment two elephants were lingering near the waterhole. Suddenly, the closest elephant turned its attention towards him, with Troskie still discreetly filming.
The giant mammal gradually ambled towards Troskie, appearing to consider each step carefully. Upon nearing the guide, the elephant ventured over the short wooden barricade where Troskie was sitting.
Using its trunk, the elephant made contact with Troskie’s leg and delivered three swift kicks with its other foot.
Before the elephant could put its foot down, Troskie, maintaining his calm demeanor, gestured the creature away with a confident ‘Go on.’ Retreating, the elephant gave a resonant trumpet from its trunk.
Reflecting on the encounter, Troskie, a native of Bethlehem, South Africa, admitted, “I was extremely nervous when he started to kick me. I knew I had to take action to make him back off, or else he could have easily crushed my leg.
This interaction was unplanned, but as an experienced professional, I knew the risks and acted accordingly. Fortunately, the elephant wasn’t aggressive, merely curious.
My initial plan was for the herd to drink from the waterhole and leave, but things did not go as planned.”