How game guide stopped bull ele­phant charg­ing cou­ple

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - MIKE BEHR

A BRAVE South African guide saved a hon­ey­moon cou­ple on a walk­ing sa­fari from be­ing tram­pled to death when he stopped a charg­ing bull ele­phant – three times.

New Zealand prop­erty de­vel­oper Brett Larsen, 50, and his artist wife Lulu Shi, 39, had their “once in a life­time ex­peri- ence” on April 9, the last day of their seven-day hon­ey­moon sa­fari at The Out­post Lodge in Kruger Na­tional Park.

“We’d been very lucky on our first walk­ing sa­fari soon af­ter we ar­rived when we saw lion, leop­ard and hyena and found it so ex­hil­a­rat­ing that we wanted to do it again on our last day,” said Larsen.

“Af­ter about an hour and a half we came out of for­est and looked up and about 100m away saw an ele­phant at the top of a hill. We stopped and ad­mired it and then sud­denly it charged us.

“Dean, our lead guide, said, “Don’t move”, so we stood there frozen in ter­ror as the ele­phant charged down the hill at us.

“Straight away Dean had moved for­ward and be­come the tar­get. He put his arm up and yelled “Whoooa” and about 10m away the ele­phant stopped dead in its tracks.

“With his right arm raised Dean was loudly com­mand­ing the ele­phant and it backed off. It was sur­real. And what im­pressed me is that Dean didn’t raise his ri­fle once. This bloke stepped up to the mark and with­out hes­i­ta­tion and no fear put his body on the line.

“The ele­phant charged twice more and again Dean stopped it in its tracks.

“Af­ter the first charge Lulu and I backed up slowly with the other guide to a nearby tree. And as soon as we got to it the ele­phant charged again. You could see it was an­gry.

“Af­ter the third time the ele­phant moved off and all I could think of was get us out of here. I watched it, re­lieved, and thought it looked like a child stomp­ing off be­cause Dean hadn’t let it get its own way. It was flap­ping its ears and throw­ing sand over its back. I think it was re­ally cheesed off.”

Larsen said he was shar­ing the amaz­ing footage to give Dean all the credit he de­served. “Dean showed nerves of steel.”

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