Hungry elephant makes apple pie

2013-07-25 00:00

THE Dreyer family from Bothaville, Free State, got the fright of their lives when an elephant repeatedly tried to tip over their Toyota Fortuner in its quest for a bag of apples inside the vehicle.

They were setting up camp in the Moremi reserve in Botswana’s Xakanaxa camp when they noticed the elephant standing on its hind legs to reach dry berries high up in a tree.

“It was quite cute to start with. But we did not know he would soon smell our apples,” said Eduard Dreyer, a farmer from the Bothaville district.

His brother, Thomas, said the elephant then caught the scent of the apples and ambled over and snaked its trunk through an open window of the Fortuner.

When the elephant could not reach the bag, it tried to shake the fruit from the Fortuner, using one tusk to lift the vehicle at a 45º angle. A loaded Fortuner weighs almost three tons, but the elephant casually lifted it three times.

By this time the women and children had fled to the ablution block — where they also slept the night — as the brothers tried to scare off the peckish pachyderm with fire and thunder flashes.

It did not even flap an ear as it used its trunk to snake one apple after the other into its mouth. Then it found a bag of flour and, perhaps with thoughts of baking an apple pie in the heat of its stomach, hoovered up the contents so that the car was filled with a cloud of flour.

The elephant only decamped after 90 minutes.

The next day, it was back for more snacks. This time the Dreyers got the local game ranger to fire two shots over its rump, but the animal knew its rights in the reserve and calmly continued to sniff around.

When it returned on the third day, Eduard had enough and chased off the elephant with a mighty yell.

He said the elephant’s tusk had caused a fair amount of damage to the doors and roof of the vehicle, but they were able to drive it home.

“Only after the drama did the park’s management tell us visitors may not take any fruit into the park,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.