elephant encounter video explained
Meaningful encounters with elephant may settle deep within us. There is a presence there, a suggestion that they possess qualities normally recognized in our own selves. What’s more, this understanding deepens whilst out on foot where we are isolated from our lifelines of logic, projection and rational thought, that blur the boundary between what is happening in our minds and the reality on the ground. And every so often, a special encounter inquires where this boundary lies or perhaps, if it even exists at all.
As it happened we were in an open area when the elephant came on fast and had no choice but to stand our ground. The footage is entirely authentic and nothing was manipulated. The elephant is wild. My role was to maintain the collective confidence and energy of the walking party, especially during the tense moments of the charges.
The footage does not do justice to or can succinctly portray what happened on the walk, or moments afterwards. It’s safe to say that in the wilds of social media sensationalism, the lack of proper context is often a casualty.
If I could urge you all to look past this and recognize the moments of connection between a person and an elephant. Listen to the calm consistency and tone of bird calls during the encounter, note the intrinsic body language and soft eyes of the elephant, the stillness of the photographer, and how evenly the bull walks away at the end, comfortable enough to turn his back on us. Apart from the impact of energy, these moments again prove for me that we all share a kinship with wilderness, and wilderness is in everything around us.
All rights reserved. Alan McSmith 2019
I would NEVER suggest or advise that anyone approaches elephants on foot or in a vehicle. If you are a guide then I urge you to use extreme caution.