Terrifying moment bull elephant attacks a safari tourist bus

The terrifying moment a bull elephant charged and tried to flip a safari vehicle has gone viral, with the moment caught on video from a bystander.

The footage starts with the elephant approaching the front of the vehicle where the guide sits in the driver seat, before the animal starts nudging the bonnet with its trunk.

The open-air truck, which has passengers seated in the back half of the vehicle, is lifted off the ground as the elephant pushes again and again in an attempt to flip the truck off its wheels.

The video pivots to the point-of-view of a passenger, who is filming from within the vehicle, showing the driver frantically backing away from the elephant as it continues to charge towards him.

From this viewpoint, the male elephant is just centimetres away from the driver’s face — with the pair separated only by glass.

While some on social media described the vision as “traumatising” and blamed the driver for getting too close to the wild animal, one anonymous poster claimed they’d received video that revealed a little more detail in defence of the guide.

“Unfortunately the video only shows the end of the story and not the complete story,” the anonymous poster wrote alongside the video on YouTube.

“The elephant entered the car park while guests were both on foot in the open and on the walkway (fairly secure).

“The guide sat there quietly with his engine off until the elephant started to approach the vehicle. The elephant didn’t back off and kept coming closer, not responding to warning shouts and door slamming and slapping as they normally will.”

The anonymous poster claims in a desperate bid to scare the elephant off, the guide started his engine and revved the truck.

“Whether or not the guide took the correct action next is not for me to say,” they wrote.

“He started his engine and revved it, hoping the elephant would leave the car park.

“I hope the full video is released because I am sure you will all feel some compassion towards the guide and how absolutely terrified he must have been, while taking actions to protect others in a very difficult situation.

“I have no doubt that the guide and guests have been traumatised by this event.”

It’s not the first time a tourist vehicle has got a little too close to one of these majestic creatures in the wild.

Last year, a Perth family were lucky to walk away uninjured after they were ambushed by a female elephant in search of food.

In the footage filmed by the Basnayake family, who were holidaying in Sri Lanka at the time, the elephant called Nitra suddenly emerges from the trees along the side of the road and heads directly for the van.

In a split second, Nitra smashes the driver’s window with her tusks and plunges her trunk through the window, rummaging for food.

In the footage, father-of-two Kasun Basnayake says “it’s okay, it’s okay” to calm his children as the giant elephant sniffs for food.

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