Elephants: Unless you’re watching “Dumbo” or “Babar,” they’re not known for a profundity of cuddliness.
In fact, in 2005 an article from National Geographic News noted the giant creatures have been known to kill over 500 humans a year. Most of us have only witnessed these wild beasts from a safe distance at a zoo but in 2009 elephants were named the seventh deadliest animal in the world by the U.K. Telegraph. It’s unknown whether they’ve managed to improve their position in the intervening years.
All of which leads us to ask: What the heck was this guy thinking?
Alan McSmith of Alan McSmith Safaris has gone viral after a video of him taming an elephant with nothing more than a little stick and a lot of chutzpah was posted on social media.
The video begins with an elephant charging toward the McSmith, who seems to be dressed in bush attire (or at least what I believe to be bush attire from multiple late-night cable viewings of “Crocodile Dundee”).
McSmith doesn’t move, though. The elephant stops short, kicking up clouds of dust. It’s at that point MsSmith raises a stick no longer than a toy sword.
“Come on,” he says as he raps the stick against his leg. And lo and behold, the elephant does not, in fact, come on.
McSmith stares the elephant down.The beast backs away and avoids his gaze, much like a child scolded over a bad report card. Eventually, the elephant walks in the other direction.
There’s always the possibility that this is a trained elephant, given how this looks like some Chris Pratt-“Jurassic World”-level stuff.
However, when the video was originally posted to YouTube by Alan McSmith Safaris back in March of 2017, it was claimed this was a wild animal and that McSmith had defused the dangerous situation during a safari walk.
The video also noted: “we don’t recommend the following as standard guiding procedure.” Well, duh.
If the provenance of this video is legitimate, McSmith is a) very brave, b) very lucky and c) maybe a bit crazy. However, one can’t deny he’s pretty much a viral legend.
After South Africa Live posted the video on Dec. 22, it garnered 1.2 million views. The original video — posted last year — hasn’t been a slouch either, with almost a million views of its own.
So, Alan McSmith, you may be a bit crazy. Or even more than a bit. But nobody’s going to deny that you sure know how to stop a rampaging animal with just a tiny stick.
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H/T Wide Open Spaces