When Jeremy Allen McGill set out in China’s “Wild Elephant Valley” nature reserve yesterday, he was probably just hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the magnificant beasts. But McGill got that and a lot more — for unknown reasons, an elephant used its trunk to pick McGill, who teaches English in China, up and then tossed him.
An official said that three elepants were roaming as close as 65 feet from McGill, and also noted that elephant attacks have happened before — “mostly after the pachyderms were spooked by camera flashes or loud noises from visitors.”
Bear attacks and moose tramplings aren’t uncommon here in Alaska, and though they most often occur when someone has surprised the animals or gotten between them and their offspring, they often result from brave people trying to get close enough for a good photo. The same thing happens in Yellowstone with wild animals that have gotten so used to humans they casually munch away until someone gets too close.
Sixty-five feet from an elephant might count as too close for me. You?