While elephants domesticated by zookeepers or trainers can be fairly peaceful, lovable giants, abused animals and those encountered in the wild can be exceptionally dangerous creatures, especially when agitated.
Are elephants dangerous animals?
Known to be vindictive and occasionally unexpectedly experience bouts of rage, elephants are quite capable of killing someone when ‘the mood strikes them’. In India, rampaging or mistreated animals have killed hundreds of people and, according to ‘Elephant Rage’, a documentary by the National Geographic Channel elephant attacks are responsible for around 500 deaths every year.
Continually shrinking habitats as a result of human expansion, culling and decades of poaching are not helping matters a great deal. Stanford University biologist Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell believes being harassed and shot at in increasingly compressed areas is making these magnificent creatures more and more aggressive towards humans.
Elephants on safari
Safari companies have a legal responsibility to protect people in their care. This means preventing slips, trips and falls or transportation accidents, for instance, as well as being aware of the potential risks involved in encountering wild animals, including elephants.
They must take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries by animals by:
- Making holiday makers aware of the risks
- Ensuring tourists know when and when not to approach animals and how to act around or react to them in different situations
- Using only experienced guides who know what to do if an animal attacks or an attack appears to be imminent
Approaching elephant families or lone animals with utmost care, maintaining a safe distance at all times and knowing when it is best to remain still and quiet or when it is safe to move around or away from animals can ultimately prevent potentially severe or fatal personal injuries.
If you suffered an injury in a safari accident, whether this involved an animal attack, a vehicle accident or an injury by a slip, trip or fall and you were not responsible for your accident, you could qualify for a travel accident claim.
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Date Published: April 6, 2016
Author: Accident Advice