A new video showing a man standing his ground as a huge Asian elephant charges towards him is going viral. According to a New York Daily News report, the incident was captured on video at a sanctuary in Thailand. In the video, a man is seen standing in a thickly wooded jungle. An elephant is then seen slowly emerging from the foliage. Without warning, the elephant makes a dash towards the man. The elephant also makes a loud shrieking noise as it approaches the hapless looking man. Incredibly, the man remains unperturbed and the elephant reaches barely a few feet away from him. He also waves his hands at the elephant, probably an involuntary reaction as a last ditch attempt to stop it. Now, instead of a horrifying scene where the elephant trampled the man to death, what is captured in the video is remarkable.
Probably observing that the man wasn’t intimidated by his charge, and confused by his reaction, the elephant chooses to retreat and goes back in to the jungle – just as quickly as it had emerged from the bushes. What is possibly even more perplexing is the reaction of the man. He is seen chuckling at what had just happened.
The man in the video has been identified as 27-year-old Tor Bowling. The incident that is shown in the video is actually a few months old and happened on February 28, 2014 at Thailand’s Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary. Tor Bowling, who was later interviewed by the media, said that the he sees the entire episode as a “positive experience” and believes that he was lucky to have experienced what he did. According to him, the incident happened during a vacation he had taken after he had quit his job and was on a trip to the sanctuary with one of his friends, Navee Kittisak. The original intention of the duo was to see a dinosaur footprint that was discovered in the sanctuary. The elephant encounter was not a part of his original itinerary!
Tor Bowling says that what people see in the video is just a small part of the actual episode. According to him, they were on the way back when they came across the elephant. Initially, he did not move when he realized that the elephant had spotted him. He then gradually tried to back off, but the elephant also kept moving with him, maintaining the distance. It was after this that the elephant decided to charge at him. Bowling was obviously scared and he waved his hand at the elephant — as that was pretty much all he could do. However, that was enough on the day, it seems, to save him from being trampled upon. Bowling still believes that the elephant did not actually want to harm him and just wanted him out of his way.
“I always think (everything that happens to me) is a special moment and I think I’m lucky to have had the chance to experience that,” he said. “I don’t need to think of things as bad memories. So I smile to make it a good situation. I’m sure, it didn’t want to hurt me.”
The reaction to Tor Bowling’s viral elephant video has been largely negative as people assume that he had tried to instigate the animal. That however is not the case, says Bowling.
When elephants charge at humans, the usual result is a death or a life changing injury. The Inquisitr previously reported about people getting killed by elephants, most notably the case of American citizen Lily Glidden. She was reportedly killed by an elephant in Thailand… a case of simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe.
[Image via YouTube]