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Amorous Elephants
Chris Weber

Chris >>18 was making a film in Kenya with Joyce Poole, an elephant expert:

  • When we came back to camp, we found this huge male, Beach Ball, obviously in musth [a sexually aggressive condition], rubbing against a tree, dribbling urine. . . .

  • I was in the Land Rover with Joyce >>50, who was being filmed from the other car. To stay out of the shot, I had to get down on the floor.

  • . . . suddenly I hear Joyce whisper, “Don’t move.”
    . . . I see the tip of Beach Ball’s tusks >>44 coming through the window and his eye looking down at me.

  • I was well aware at the time that elephants have been known to put tusks right through vehicles or tip a vehicle over. . . . I was glad I had gone to the bathroom earlier.

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© 1999 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.

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On top of the Land Rover
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Beach Ball
Photographs from
National Geographic