Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

Elephant gets frisky on car in Pilansberg

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This is the moment a bull elephant on musth – when its testosterone levels can reach 60 times greater than normal –

decided to scratch an itch on a parked car. The two terrified occupants of this VW Polo found themselves in the

wrong place at the wrong time as a giant elephant stooped down to rub itself against the vehicle’s roof and bonnet.

The incredible images were taken by Armand Grobler, 21, a field guide and lodge manager,

in PilanesburgNational Park in South Africa.


There were two people inside the car at the time the massive bull elephant started playing with it

‘Yet even though it was in this condition, it displayed no signs of aggression or frustration and

was in a more playful mood.’Elephants frequently use logs, small trees and rocks to relieve an

itch or remove parasites – but with the car so close to hand, it was a chance too good to pass up.

Mr Grobler added: ‘We were unsure of what to do in the situation when the elephant made

contact with the car, and when the car was being crushed, we feared for the lives of the driver

and passenger but our efforts were very limited as to what we could do.

‘The all-round emotion that was within our vehicle, as we watched in horror, was that we were

rushed with adrenaline yet terrified and helpless.


After the elephant had finished the car was left with four blown tires and a broken chassis


The photos were taken by Armand Grobler, a field guide and lodge manager in

Pilanesburg, South Africa. The two passengers in the car, male and female, both in late 20’s

or early 30’s, were not harmed, only badly shaken up. They were both in shock but happy to be alive.

‘The car was not so lucky. From what we could see and hear, all the windows were smashed,

the roof was badly dented and the entire top part of the car smashed.

‘All four tyres had been blown and the chassis broken.’

As for the elephant, after giving itself a good scratch, it continued on it’s way itch free –

oblivious to the destruction it had left behind

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