Watch terrifying moment bull elephant charges safari truck in South Africa forcing students to run for their lives

Three terrified eco-students had a lucky escape when their safari truck was attacked by a bull elephant and rammed off the road.

The huge six ton, 13-foot tall tusker, which was in season for mating, became enraged when the two vehicles came close to its breeding herd.

The confrontation happened after both trucks came to a stop behind each other on a dirt road on the Selati Game Reserve near Hoedspruit on the edge of Kruger Park in South Africa.

Incredible videos show the bull elephant–with ears flaring suddenly charging at the visitors.

The giant bull then flattens its ears and charges, ramming its tusks into the vehicle.

The guide on the viewing seat, in front of the bonnet, jumps for his life to avoid the elephant’s tusks.

Its tusks slice through the bodywork of the safari truck and it lifts the 11-seater vehicle off the ground, pushing it off the road.

The bull elephant charges out of the undergrowth towards the group (Twitter/@Its GoingViral1)

Screams can be heard from the three students on board throughout the 30-second attack.

Fortunately just as the safari truck is on the point of being rolled over the bull elephant breaks off its attack and stands defiantly in front of them.

A brave guide from the second safari truck runs to help the three students who are frozen with fear in their seats shouting “get out, get out, get out” and rescues them.

He orders them to run to the safety of his truck keeping the wrecked first vehicle between them and the bull elephant as the guide and spotter also escape.

The terrified students were taken back to the safari lodge and have received counselling but were unhurt. The wrecked safari vehicle was later recovered by staff.

The students run for their lives as the elephant attacks (Twitter/@Its GoingViral1)

Bull elephants when they are ready to breed go into what is called musth, where their testosterone level can multiply by up to 60 times.

The become sexually aggressive and highly violent towards humans, and they secrete a tar like discharge on the side of their heads which warns of their sexual arousal.

The herbivores, which spend most of the day eating, are in musth for two to three months a year when they cover as many females as possible and fight their rivals.

They have been known to attack African villages. Elephants, mainly in musth, trample or crush to death an average of 500 people a year.

EcoTraining is based at the 18,000 acre Selati Game Reserve which is home to 135 elephants as well as black and white rhinos and lions, leopard and cheetah.

MD Anton Lategan said: “On a routine activity EcoTraining instructors and trainees came across a breeding herd of elephants and stopped to allow them to settle down.

“An elephant bull, who was with the breeding herd, mock charged the vehicle.

“The elephant bull mock charged again, when they moved forward slowly, and then made direct contact with the game drive vehicle and displaced it off the road.

“Once the vehicle had come to a standstill the trainees were moved to the second vehicle parked in close proximity by instructors with 25 years of experience.”

The general manager of Selati Game Reserve, Bryan Havemann, said: “Although the vehicle was badly damaged, thankfully none of the people on the vehicle were injured.”

The footage captured by an eco-student on the second safari truck has gone viral.

In 2018 a top safari ranger Mark Lautenbach, 33, was trampled to death by a bull elephant that had broken into a game park lodge on a rampage on the Madikwe Game Reserve, by the Kruger.

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