Northern Irish tourist attacked by elephant while on safari
A Northern Irish tourist was lucky to escape serious injury after he was attacked by an elephant in Zimbabwe.
Stephen Montague was enjoying a safari holiday with his wife Shannon and her family at Mana Pools wildlife conservation area.
The family sat down to enjoy a meal when a young male elephant wandered over towards them. They were initially excited to have the giant beast so close to them and one of the tour guards threw it a piece of food.
On the video you can hear someone describe the elephant as a “big boy”.
Stephen was sat next to his brother-in-law Shane Wolff, with their backs to the elephant. They turned to sit side on so that they could see what was happening when the elephant came in closer, presumably looking for more food.
Then came the frightening attack. The elephant brushed its head into Stephen forcing him to his feet to retreat. It then swung it head the other way and did the same to Shane.
Both men fled the scene along with the rest of the diners at the table.
Nervous laughter followed as the elephant was ushered away with loud noises by tour guards.
Shane then lifts up his shirt to reveal to camera the mark made by the elephant’s tusk.
Thankfully no-one suffered serious injury.
Despite the close encounter, the family remained in Zimbabwe to enjoy the rest of their holiday.
Stephen’s father Paddy Montague of Co Tyrone said: “He wouldn’t let something like that stop him. He loves to go where the action is.”
His mother Patricia added: “These kind of holidays with wild animals wouldn’t be for me but Stephen and Shannon love them. They took what happened in their stride. Stephen is fine and that’s what is most important to us.”
Stephen is originally from Northern Ireland moved to California earlier this year after marrying American Shannon.
Both he and his brother-in-law were very fortunate to escape without serious injury or even worse. Around 500 people a year are killed by elephants around the world.
These attacks almost all occur as the elephant is reaching sexual maturity. During this time, males can have up to 60 times the usual amount of testosterone in their bodies, making them extremely aggressive and unpredictable.
Take a look at the video below.