Former California governor and Terminator tough-guy Arnold Schwarzenegger got more than he bargained for on a recent South African safari when an elephant that his group was observing circled the vehicle they were touring in and charged after them.
Schwarzenegger, in the country to promote his annual Arnold Sports Festival, recorded the elephant encounter and posted the video on his social media channels.
“I couldn’t have written this safari encounter better if it was a movie,” the 68-year-old actor and former politico wrote on Facebook. “I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful, strong animals, even though some of us had to change our pants after this.”
The video begins as the elephant brushes a tusk along the windshield of the group’s car, which prompts the driver to start the engine. The elephant then appears to back off, almost as if he’s bored with the group.
“Is he backing off because of the engine?” one member of the group asks.
“No, he’s going to charge us,” Schwarzenegger replies matter-of-factly.
The elephant circles around the car and for a moment it appears as if it will leave the group alone. But suddenly, the elephant charges directly toward it, before the driver speeds off and the elephant follows in pursuit.
In his comment on Facebook, Schwarzenegger also used the opportunity to make a statement about the practice of animal poaching.
“We need to stop killing them – take a photo, not a shot,” he added. “Would you rather be able to experience these creatures or a hunk of ivory? I thought so.”
Judging by his Instagram page, Schwarzenegger is having a good time in South Africa. He apparently lost a chess match to an “intimidating” young pig-tailed girl and visited the Nelson Mandela House, where he snapped a photo of himself alongside a portrait of the former South African leader.
Schwarzenegger is set to take over for Donald Trump on The New Celebrity Apprentice early next year. NBC has reportedly scheduled the show’s premiere for after this year’s presidential election.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum