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Why Tourists Shouldn’t Approach Wild Animals Too Closely

A family chose to travel to Africa in order to get closer to exotic animals, and they couldn’t have gotten much closer than they did on the Chobe River in Botswana.

The family was on a guided boat trip when they came upon a wild elephant quietly browsing among some floating weeds in the lake.

Su-An Marais couldn’t help herself: she took out her phone and began filming the lovely scene. That’s when the elephant suddenly turned around and stared them down.


While many people are aware that elephants are sophisticated, emotional creatures that “never forget,” it’s a lesser-known truth that, despite their massive size, the creatures are also competent swimmers, as the Marais family discovered the hard way.

“Despite the fact that we were so near to the elephant, he appeared to be grazing contentedly in the totally flooded waters. What could possibly go wrong?” According to Su-An Marais of Latest Sightings. “Even an adult elephant couldn’t swim so rapidly in deep water, can they?”


The elephant was very near to the boat where the camera-pointing humans were in only a few quick strokes. Despite the fact that the guide had switched off the engine so as not to disturb him, the elephant obviously did not like the intrusion into his personal space — and he made it apparent.

The elephant moves ahead and gives the boat a several powerful shoves back in the direction it came from, causing the phone footage to shake.

The family received what they came for: they were able to get back up close and personal with the creatures they like. They were, however, educated by one.

“We were clearly too near for comfort,” Marais explained.