Terrifying Moment Captured on Film as Huge Rampaging Elephant Charges a Reversing Car

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Written by Sharon Parry

Published: November 13, 2023

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Wild Female Asian Elephant in Yok Don National Park, Vietnam
© DorSteffen/Shutterstock.com

The elephant in this extraordinary clip has had enough of the car and is making its feeling very clear! As the car tries to reverse out of the huge animal’s way, it charges and trumpets loudly to show how irritated it is! Even though the occupants of the car are protected to some extent, this must have been a frightening experience for them. Elephants are large and powerful animals and this one gets very close to the vehicle!

How Many Different Types of Elephants Are There?

Elephants can be divided into African and Asian elephants. There are two species of African elephant which are the African savanna or African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis). The savannah elephants are found in East, Central, and Southern Africa. Meanwhile, forest elephants are found in the Congo Basin and West Africa.

There is only one species of Asian elephant but there are three subspecies based on the geographical location of the elephant populations. These are the Sri Lankan Asian elephant (Elephas maximus maximus), the mainland Asian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), and the Sumatran Asian elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus).

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Is It Normal Behavior for Elephants to Charge?

Mother Indian elephant with baby

Elephants are intelligent animals with complex behaviors.

©Nuttaya Maneekhot/Shutterstock.com

Elephants are extremely intelligent animals with complex behaviors and highly developed social interactions. We know that they can show empathetic behavior, can communicate between themselves, and have problem-solving skills. Bull elephants can sometimes be aggressive towards each other during their musth seasons. Females can also be aggressive when they are protecting their calves. When elephants show aggression they can be seen spreading their ears, raising their heads with their jaws tucked in, and mock charging. They also charge for real! Sometimes they shake their heads which makes their ears flap. They have even been seen picking up objects and throwing them at their opponents. A charging elephant can reach speeds of 25 mph.

Are Elephants Dangerous to Humans?

Aggression towards other species is rare in elephants but can happen if the elephant feels threatened. All elephant species are suffering from habitat loss. This is bringing them in closer contact with humans than ever before. According to the World Wildlife Fund charity, over 100 people are killed each year in India by elephants. Also, over 200 people have been killed in Kenya by elephants in the last seven years. Sadly, elephants are often killed in retaliation and to protect human crops. The charity is working with local populations to set up deterrents to keep elephants out of areas farmed by humans.


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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