In a disturbing video recently posted online, a man charges an elephant within Kruger National Park, a protected game reserve located in southeastern Africa.
Latest Sightings, a blog that shares reports of animal sightings and videos taken within the bounds of the reserve, posted the user-submitted video on YouTube Saturday, calling the behavior "an absolute disgrace."
"Such behavior is not allowed and should never be done," the blog writes.
In the video, the man, who may be intoxicated, confronts the wild elephant as he is egged on by his friends.
"Run at him, run at him right now," one person yells in the background as the man rushes toward the animal.
The elephant, clearly shocked by the confrontation, appears to prepare for the frontal assault, bowing its head forward before standing tall and waving its truck from side to side. After falling, the man gets up and runs toward the elephant yet again, this time waving his arms.
While the elephant appeared to take an active response to the first threat, at the man's second charge, the animal retreats and runs away.
According to Kruger's website, vistors can differentiate a mock charge from a real one by watching how the animal reacts. Elephants may first present a threatening display by trumpeting, kicking dust or having any intimidating presence along with ears spread wide. However, a head shake and a flap of the ears may indicate that the elephant is preparing to actually charge.
The African elephant, currently classified as a vulnerable species on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, faces such threats as human-elephant conflict and poaching for the illegal ivory trade, according to World Wildlife Fund.
Following of slew of elephant incidents, Latest Sightings advised its readers in a November blog post to take precautions when approaching elephants within Kruger. Among the advice: Give elephants plenty of space; do not approach or get too close to their young and, if driving, wait for the elephant to move.
In April, an elephant overturned and crushed a car carrying two tourists, who suffered serious fractures from the incident, within the reserve in South Africa. At the time, park spokesman William Mabasa said it was unclear why the animal became aggressive.
Update, May 14: The man in the video has been identified as a safari guide for the Singita game reserve, where the incident took place, according to a post (that has since been deleted) on Singita's Facebook page. The guide is no longer employed by the company.