Elephant Flips Car In South Africa: Kruger Park Video Shows Car-Crushing Ordeal

By Josh Lieberman on January 14, 2014 6:24 PM EST

elephant kruger park
An elephant flipped a car in Kruger Park in South Africa last month. (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

An elephant went head to head with a car in Kruger National Park in South Africa last month, and you can guess who won. New video of the elephant flipping the car (see below) has surfaced, though it doesn't fully capture the horror of the incident, which reportedly involved three flips of the car. One of the passengers, Sarah Brooks, a teacher from England, was stabbed in the thigh by the elephant's tusk, but she is now out of the hospital; the other passenger, her partner, received minor injuries.

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The video was shot from a vehicle staying behind the flipped car, whose passengers kept a safe distance from the elephant because it showed "tell-tale signs of being agitated," according to one passenger. As the anonymous male passenger told Barcroft Media, "The moment that I saw the elephant start to attack their car I knew that there was nothing that we could do to stop it, so I proceeded to drive to the nearest town in the Kruger National Park to get help." They were able to phone emergency personnel, whom they directed to the flipped car.

William Mabasa, general manager of the park, said that the two passengers were "totally frightened but also thankful that they were alive." Mabasa added: "The car is a wreck, if I may put it that way. I mean it was completely flattened but fortunately the elephant concentrated on the back of the car, that's why we still have our guests alive now as I speak."

One creature that is no longer alive is the elephant. Park authorities decided to shoot the elephant, an act which enraged the internet. Only after killing the elephant did authorities realize that it was in its musth phrase, a periodic hormonal condition in which a male elephant's testosterone increases greatly, leading to aggressiveness.      

"Since it was in its musth phase, the elephant had got into a fight with another dominant bull before and was very aggressive," said South African National Parks representative Ike Phaahla. "We need to respect their space. They are wild animals and behave naturally in the wild. Their behavior can be very unpredictable and if they feel under threat, they will attack to defend themselves."   

There are believed to have been three elephant attacks in Kruger National Park last year. In April, a car was attacked by an elephant, which flipped the vehicle, and in December, another elephant was shot after it attacked traffic officers.

READ MORE:

African Elephants Understand Human Gestures; Can Respond To Pointing Without Any Training

Female Capuchin Monkeys Flirt By Throwing Stones At Males

China Crushes 6 Tons Of Elephant Tusks: US Fears Ivory Trade Funds Terrorism

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