A dashcam video of a Bosbok Gas & Smeermiddels delivery truck being charged and damaged by an angry elephant bull has gone viral over social media channels. The video shows a delivery vehicle being charged at by an elephant after the bakkie seemingly posed a threat to the animal. Bulletin contacted the company and spoke to Nathan Traut, the Marketing Operations Manager who explained in brief what transpired.
It was a delivery like many others that Norman Nukeri made to his clients in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve just outside Hoedspruit. On the 1st of June he was traveling in the Bosbok Gas delivery truck, towing a full load of fuel, when he noticed a group of elephants crossing the road he was traveling on in the distance.
Being from the area and aware of the dangers of approaching these great beasts, especially when in the company of their calves, Norman slowed his vehicle to a steady halt a few metres away and waited for them to cross.
The elephant cow and her young crossed the dirt road and disappeared into the bush. Suddenly to the left of the vehicle a large bull appeared from the bush and charged the bakkie. Norman banged on the side of his vehicle in an attempt to frighten the elephant away. The noise seemed to work and the bull stopped in its tracks a few metres from the bakkie. It turned to the side and walked off into the bush.
Suddenly the animal made an about turn and charged full speed at the vehicle once again. This time however, Norman’s banging on the side of his bakkie did little to deter the bull who lowered its head and rammed full force into the front of the vehicle completely destroying the bonnet and damaging the front bumper and grill.
The bull lifted its powerful head with its tusks still firm locked in place below the bakkie’s bonnet and shook the vehicle backwards and to the side as though it was a child’s toy. The animal stopped, inspected the threat and walked slowly backwards before determining that the perceived threat had been sufficiently eliminated and re-joined its family.
The vehicle suffered significant body damage but was mechanically sound and able to drive. Norman was shell-shocked but suffered no physical injuries. It was the first time that an encounter of this nature involving a Bosbok Gas vehicle or employee had ever been recorded. Norman was unable to reverse his vehicle out of harm’s way as he was towing a trailer full of fuel.
“We dispatched the owner of the company and one of our other drivers to Norman’s position after the incident. They removed the bonnet and drove the bakkie back to the office. The delivery was still made to our clients and we are very fortunate that the ordeal ended in the manner it did and nobody was injured,” said Traut. “We live in the African bushveld and these types of things happen. You learn to live and deal with it.”
On Thursday morning Norman was back out in the field doing his daily deliveries. He was unavailable for comment. If you would like to see the video of the incident captured on Norman’s dashcam, please visit our Facebook page at Far North Bulletin.