National Geographic Explorer Challenged By A Huge African ElephantThe Rainforest Site
National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole and his sister, renowned African elephant expert Dr. Joyce Poole, are trying to rebuild a trusting relationship with the elephants and teach them to be comfortable around humans. This is essential since the elephants need the Gorongosa national park for survival and the park needs tourists.
Many elephants in the Gorongosa National Park were casualties of the Mozambique civil war. During the conflict, 97% of the park's elephants were killed by warring soldiers seeking ivory to fund the purchase of weapons. Shot at from jeeps, trucks, and army vehicles for the 15 years of the war, the surviving elephants came to distrust humans and associate vehicles with danger.
On one of their trust-building drives, the Pooles encountered an aggressive male elephant who threatened their vehicle. What followed was an edgy stand-off that could have ended any way.