Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th March 2016, 17:52   #151
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 44
Thanked: 13 Times
Default What to do when we meet a lone elephant in the middle of a ghat road

What to do when we meet a lone elephant in the middle of a ghat road? I have seen a video where a jeep driver scares a charging wild elephant by flashing the head lights and using the horn. Looks likes he is a local driver doing routine trips through that forest.
sibitg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2016, 18:24   #152
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,917
Thanked: 5,775 Times
Default

Well I don't know about Indian elephants. Although I have played Elephant Polo in Jaipur!

But I have spend considerable amount of time in various African countries and received all sort of training on off reading and meeting animals.

I was taught when meeting a lone elephant to come to a standstill, kill the engine and just wait it out. Lonely elephant are very often lonely bulls and they can be pretty aggressive but as with most animals only when they feel threatened or disturbed.

If he starts to make threatening moves, get the hell out of its way. Never try to scare him away.

I've met several lone elephants notably in Kenya and Gabon. Stopping and switching usually did the trick and they just wandered off. Only once did I encounter an old bull whom started flipping his ears, making a lot of noises and came charging at us. Reversed pedal to the metal away from him and he lost interest in the pursuit within 100 metres.

Magnificent animal that deserve a lot of respect. If anything because of their sheer size and speed. They might be big, but they can be pretty nimble on their feet if they want to catch you

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2016, 19:22   #153
BHPian
 
TheTeacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Space-Time
Posts: 477
Thanked: 314 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I was taught when meeting a lone elephant to come to a standstill, kill the engine and just wait it out.
For Indian elephants, I've heard a slightly different version. Come to a standstill, be quiet and wait it out, but don't kill the engine!

Reason is twofold:

1) The elephant has heard you long before you saw it, and it knows the sound of the engine. Switching off the engine will change the situation and raise its suspicion.

2) If the engine is running, it's much easier to move back or forward as the situation demands, very quickly. No time is lost in starting the engine.

Thankfully, I've never encountered this situation.

A couple of years ago my brother was coming down the ghats near Wyanad in his Swift with 2 passengers; took a hairpin bend and saw a massive lone bull elephant taking up half the road, facing them. Brother was caught by surprise; the elephant probably knew he was coming since the engine noise would have been getting louder and louder for it as my brother neared. Purely instinctively, brother jammed the accelerator pedal and got away. Not saying he did the right thing, but at that moment when he had to make a split second decision, it seemed the right thing to do, especially since braking would have stopped the car very close to the animal, in a seemingly threatening way. In cases like this, it's a very tough call.
TheTeacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2016, 19:31   #154
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,042
Thanked: 13,488 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
For Indian elephants, I've heard a slightly different version. Come to a standstill, be quiet and wait it out, but don't kill the engine!
This is the version I have heard from forest officials and friends who have frequently encountered elephants.

If the elephants gets too close, they even press accelerator slowly to revv the engine.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2016, 20:33   #155
Senior - BHPian
 
maddy42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Phoenix, Coorg
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 426 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

+1 for the above posts. Wait and watch is the best strategy for elephants and please do not kill the engine. Its a totally different scenario if your on foot as i have not met anyone who escaped a elephant chase.

Do note: Two of my uncles(both brothers) have been badly injured when elephants attacked them in their estates in separate incidents. Only good luck has them alive from that encounter. Do not walk alone in areas where you know elephants are known to be present.

Interesting story, one friend was a part of a group which herded back a group of about 30 elephants back to the jungle from the estates and here are some points they noted.
> Elephants usually travel in a pack and will not go back unless each and every member of their pack is accounted for.
> You need to keep chasing them and motivating them till they reach the jungle as they are prone to get lazy and loose focus.
> You would need a plan and randomly making noise will not help.
> Their group faced a situation where they had herded the group till the edge of the forest which had a steep slope. The elephants were in no mood to climb the hill, so they had to find another point of entry to the forest to get them guided in.

Lastly from my points it looks simple, but this was a fairly long episode.

Maddy
maddy42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th March 2016, 11:06   #156
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 44
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I was taught when meeting a lone elephant to come to a standstill, kill the engine and just wait it out.

If he starts to make threatening moves, get the hell out of its way. Never try to scare him away.
Jeroen
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
For Indian elephants, I've heard a slightly different version. Come to a standstill, be quiet and wait it out, but don't kill the engine!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This is the version I have heard from forest officials and friends who have frequently encountered elephants.

If the elephants gets too close, they even press accelerator slowly to revv the engine.
As everyone suggested, it is better to turn off headlights, roll up windows, be quiet and wait till the lone elephant moves away. But in case he decides to come close, what should be our priority?
1) Take a U-turn (if space available) and escape. Or is it better to reverse with maximum speed instead of U-turn? Will the U-turn make the animal disturbed more?
2) If U-turn/reversing is not an option, should we flash head lights and honk as a last option?

Last edited by sibitg : 29th March 2016 at 11:10.
sibitg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th March 2016, 13:54   #157
BHPian
 
TheTeacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Space-Time
Posts: 477
Thanked: 314 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

I haven't been in these situations, so I'm only guessing the best course of action here.

In general I think honking and flashing the headlights will aggravate the animal. If there is so much space and also the time to make a u-turn and scoot, it would be the best option. But usually there is neither the space nor the time.

If the animal approaches, going in reverse slowly might be the best option; the fastest speed in reverse will be nothing compared to the speed of a charging elephant! But moving slowly in reverse will tell it you don't want a confrontation. Much of the time, this will itself calm it down since you are no longer perceived as a threat and it will lose interest.

If it's decided to attack, there is little that can be done, assuming you can't proceed ahead at high speed or turn around quickly enough. Just brace yourself to deal with whatever comes.

There are stories of idiots who honked to get the elephant's attention, then used flash on the camera to take pictures. The elephant came, sat on the bonnet, then rolled the car over a few times. The rest of the traffic watching this on both sides just had to hold its breath and wait till the elephant lost interest and wandered off. I was told this happened on the Ooty - Mysore stretch a few years ago, in daylight, cloudy conditions.
TheTeacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th March 2016, 17:37   #158
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,605
Thanked: 6,690 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibitg View Post
2) If U-turn/reversing is not an option, should we flash head lights and honk as a last option?
Would you shout at someone infinitely bigger and stronger than you? I wouldn't!
Thad E Ginathom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 11:34   #159
Senior - BHPian
 
mallumowgli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Palakkad/Coimbatore
Posts: 1,087
Thanked: 684 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibitg View Post
2) If U-turn/reversing is not an option, should we flash head lights and honk as a last option?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Would you shout at someone infinitely bigger and stronger than you? I wouldn't!
Thad is right - shouting is never advised by the experts. Only option is to sit silent and pray - there is nothing much you can do when you accidentally park right beneath a wild elephant's trunk!
mallumowgli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 12:09   #160
Distinguished - BHPian
 
nkrishnap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,454
Thanked: 4,012 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Thad is right - shouting is never advised by the experts. Only option is to sit silent and pray - there is nothing much you can do when you accidentally park right beneath a wild elephant's trunk!
With Elephants the best option is to stay still, no honking, no lights, just keep the engine running but no revving. However on the foot, its better to stay very close to a tree motionless. Elephants have poor eye sight but very keen sense of smell and hearing ability. Stay put is the best option out, majority of the times, the elephant will lose interest mid way.
nkrishnap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 13:14   #161
BHPian
 
deathwalkr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 611
Thanked: 412 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

What not to do is best shown by these very intelligent young men

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i.../51597747.cms?
deathwalkr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 14:26   #162
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 44
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

I found the below in some web pages. These are issued following an elephant attach in Khao Yai national park.

A wildlife veterinarian has issued advice for motorists driving through Khao Yai national park to follow in case of sudden encounter with wild elephants.


Wildlife veterinarian Pattarapol Manee-on gave five advice on how to avoid elephant charge, and how to stay safe if it charges.

1. Pause your vehicle at least 30 metres apart if spotting a wild elephant crossing the road. If the wild elephant walks closer, shift your car in reverse gear, maintain your composure and drive off slowly. Wait patiently until the beast walks off the road and start to drive pass.
2. Don’t blow the horn or make any noise to disturb the elephant as the noise could enrage and stimulate it to charge at as its ears are sensitive to the horn tweeters.
3. Don’t photograph the beast with flash on as it could frighten and turn it to charge, or arose its interest to come closer to explore.
4. Always keep the car engine on so as to turn back in time if the elephant walks closer. The bass noise of the engine will not disturb or frighten it as it is familiar with such noise from vehicles and it is not interested in it.
5. In case of driving at night and encountering elephant, always keep the headlights on and try to observe its signs and keep a distance from it. Don’t flash the lights as this could draw its attention and walk up to the vehicle.




Determining if it's a mock or real charge

- most charges are "mock" (threat) charges, the elephant is pretending to charge but is actually testing you out to see if you're aggressive or a non-threat.

- Watch the elephant's ears. If an elephant's ears are relaxed, he is probably making a mock charge. Ears that are fanned out are indicative of a mock charge.

- If the elephant's ears are pinned back flat, it is likely that the charge is real. This will often be accompanied by a trunk that is curled inward.

- Listen for warnings. You're likely to hear trumpeting of a warning from the elephant.

- Look for displacement activities. There are some other indicators of an elephant working out whether to charge or retreat. These include a twitching trunk and swinging one leg to and fro. The biologist responsible for discovering this, Dr George Schallar, realized that the more pronounced these "displacement activities", the more likely the elephant was making a threatening show out of fear and had no intention to really charge.

Last edited by sibitg : 30th March 2016 at 14:31.
sibitg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 15:22   #163
BHPian
 
Mr.Bangalore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bengalooru
Posts: 358
Thanked: 38 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

came across a Facebook video where these youths are throwing stone to elephants in the middle of forest, this defiantly provoke the animals the way it will treat others on the roads

https://www.facebook.com/ElephasMedi...9689406563854/
Mr.Bangalore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2016, 15:24   #164
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 44
Thanked: 13 Times
Default Re: Wild Animals - A survival Guide

Another related TBHP thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...echniques.html (Wild Elephant crossing roads & tackling techniques??)
sibitg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5000kms and 12 Passes, a 20 day wild wild ride to the roof of the world! tsk1979 Travelogues 556 19th August 2015 10:42
Dealing with wild animals during your road trip Spinnerr Street Experiences 4 7th April 2009 07:22
A Wild Wild ride to the Mighty Chansal Ghati tsk1979 Travelogues 44 26th January 2009 18:21
Survival of the Fittest - Must Read! Steeroid Shifting gears 5 25th May 2005 20:13


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:26.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks