Elephants are perhaps one of the most adored wild animals. With their majestic tusks, large flapping ears, long trunks, and imposing size, they manage to appear gentle and intimidating at the same time. However, they are known for their occasionally explosive temperament. In an example of such a fiery outburst, a video from Tamil Nadu, India, has captured a tusker shattering the windshield of a bus.

According to reports, the incident occurred on Saturday morning when the bus was carrying government employees from Kotagiri to Mettupalayam in the mountainous region of Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. The encounter left the windshield of the bus shattered and the passengers screaming in shock, while the driver kept his cool as the event transpired. Supriya Sahu, Principal Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, shared the video on social media.

She captioned the post: "Huge respect for the driver of this Government bus in Nilgiris who kept his cool even under the terrifying hits on the bus from an agitated tusker. He helped passengers move back safely, in an incident today morning. That's why they say a cool mind works wonders VC- by a friend." The video has garnered nearly 72,000 views and 4,500 likes since its sharing.

Facing Tusked Fury

The 59-second-long clip was captured by a passenger in the bus. In the video, the elephant can be seen approaching the bus at a brisk pace as the driver slowly backs the vehicle away from it. After a few seconds, the driver turns off the engine, and the bus comes to a halt. Almost immediately, the animal rams into the windshield with its tusks, leaving passengers screaming.

With just a thin layer of shattered laminated glass between him and the elephant, the driver can be seen exercising extreme calm under pressure as he sits facing the beast. As the tusker stood its ground and blocked the path, the driver slowly gets out of his sit; putting some distance between him and the animal.

Following this, he is seen guiding the passengers to safety at the rear of the vehicle. As he does this, the elephant appears to make one last charge. However, it stops before striking the vehicle and looks on. According to local reports, the animal returned to the forest shortly after the encounter while the passengers were driven to safety by the driver. 

Nerves of Steel

Indian elephant (Representational Picture)Wikimedia Commons

Following its sharing on Twitter, users took to the platform to express their awe and shock at the video. The driver's nerves of steel received appreciation from Twitterati. "Presence of mind followed keeping calm at times like these are absolutely 'must have' traits for a driver amongst other things. It is so well exhibited in this case," read a comment. Another user wrote: "Appreciate the presence of mind shown by the driver."

A comment said: "Oh! God! Close call! Big Salute to Govt Bus Driver." Lauding the driver's action, another user expressed, "Presence of mind. Drivers need this courage and coolness to handle such situations. Reversing the Bus in a Ghat section when an animal conflict is so risk but still he handled it maturedly. TNSTC can proud of its drivers." 

A herd of elephants (Representational Picture)Pixahive

However, some comments were directed at a serious issue that is soon becoming a concern across the world—human-wildlife conflict. "A question to be raised. Are we doing proper in invading the places/ forests where animals live for which they are compelled to move towards cities in search of food. Need to let the animals live in their zone," asserted a user. 

Stressing on the need to enable navigation of wildlife, a user said, "For this time went well. why aren't there corridors so the elephant can walk or cross in peace? Try to respect the elephants, we invaded their land !"