Arnold Schwarzenegger In South Africa For Sports Festival, Chased By Bull Elephant

Arnold Schwarzenegger was chased by an elephant at a safari adventure during his visit to South Africa for the first Arnold Classic Africa sports festival, May 27 to 29, 2016. In a YouTube video he posted on Tuesday, May 31, the former California governor showed what led the bull elephant to charge the safari vehicle he was in with several other people.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s footage documented the Safari car parked to allow its tourist passengers to watch an elephant standing in the middle of the road. The elephant circled the vehicle and then charged at it as it pulled away.

According to The Hamilton Spectator, the clip shows the driver first shut off the engine to avoid scaring the bull elephant, then later restart the car, causing the animal to bellow and back away. When one passenger asks if the elephant is stepping back because of the engine, the driver replies that he’s worried about the animal scratching the vehicle. Arnold Schwarzenegger, however, answers the unanswered question by saying this.

“No, he’s going to charge us.”

Bull elephant
A bull elephant can be curious or can charge [Image via Shutterstock]
As the safari driver booted the accelerator, the elephant followed right behind, and Arnold Schwarzenegger could be heard yelling “Oh s**t.”

The Los Angeles Times version reported that, while the elephant was circling its tourist watchers, one of its tusks tapped the vehicle, causing the driver to mutter, “No, no, no, no.” This seemed to be the driver’s cue to restart the engine, and the elephant walked backward away from the noise but kept its gaze on the vehicle where Arnold Schwarzenegger sat.

One passenger said “He’s had it,” to which the safari driver replied that the animal was just being inquisitive. Then it came back and chased after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ride as it was pulling away.

Relating his experience on You Tube, Arnold Schwarzenegger, 68, expressed his admiration of elephants.

“I couldn’t have written this safari encounter better if it was a movie. I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful, strong animals, even though some of us had to change our pants after this.”

Arnold was in South Africa to attend one of the world’s most inclusive and popular sports festivals, held in South Africa for the first time. Schwarzenegger hosted the inaugural Arnold Classic Africa at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Arnold Classic
A winner gets star handshake at Arnold Classic [Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]
Partnered with the Gauteng provincial government and the S.A. Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the event was the latest leg of the Arnold Sports Festival, following similar spectacles in the United States, Australia, Europe, and South America. With professional and amateur athletes from across South Africa and around the world, half of whom were expected to be youths, the three-day festival promoted by Schwarzenegger, involved 47 sports and events.

The Arnold Classic, first launched in the United States as a professional bodybuilding competition in 1989, has since expanded to create an international series of multi-sport festivals, driven by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a seven-time Mr Olympia, a Hollywood star and the former Governor of California.

While Arnold’s sports event included traditional disciplines such as acrobatic gymnastics, archery, badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, fencing, weightlifting and wrestling, there was more offered. Cross fit, dance sport, ringball, pole fitness, and rope skipping were also showcased in the global series founded by Schwarzenegger.

The inaugural Arnold Classic Africa added a unique number of strength-based contests, including amateur bodybuilding, arm wrestling, powerlifting, weightlifting, and a strongman competition. Part of Schwarzenegger’s multi-sport festival was a three-day Health and Fitness Trade Expo, drawing some 30,000 visitors, including 10,500 athletes.

As for the elephant incident during Arnold’s safari side-trip, he took the opportunity to speak against the killing of elephants and encouraged taking photos of “these creatures” instead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Schwarzenegger posted the following text with his video on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t have written this safari encounter better if it was a movie. I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful, strong animals, even though some of us had to change our pants after this.”

It was a fit end to this episode of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

[Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images]