Bystanders were shocked when a bull elephant overturned a car in iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa on Sunday.
“The park is home to large numbers of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans and flamingos. Elephants, giraffes and leopards inhabit the grasslands and forests of the nearby Western Shores and Charters Creek areas,” iol.co.za reported.
In video footage of the incident, visitors recorded the elephant as it pounced on a white SUV off the side of the roadway.
The driver honked the horn repeatedly in an attempt to gain the animal’s attention, and a woman was heard asking him to put the car in reverse and be ready to move away.
In the distance, the elephant knocked the white vehicle upside down, then appeared to back away from it.
Photos of the vehicle after the incident went viral online. Several bicycles belonging to those in the car, its cracked windshield, and dented body were seen in the pictures.
In a statement Monday, iSimangaliso Wetland Park said the vehicle traveling to Cape Vidal carrying two adults and two children came into contact with the animal.
“The elephant reportedly pushed the vehicle with its tusks, and rolled the car on its side and its roof, with the passengers still inside,” officials explained:
Park officials responded to the incident and rescued the family, and fortunately there were no severe injuries sustained by the passengers. The family is reportedly from Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal. Although such incidents are not a common occurrence in iSimangaliso, we wish to caution our visitors to always remain vigilant and keep to a distance of at least 50 metres from wildlife, particularly the big five. Human-wildlife conflicts can and do happen since these animals are wild, and roaming freely in the park.
The park said it was grateful no lives were lost and following an investigation into what happened, no further action would be taken against the elephant involved.