After creeping to about a hundred feet from the elephant, Daryl set up
the tripod. He tapped his wedding ring against the tripod leg. The elephant
turned, spreading its ears wide and raising its trunk to sniff the wind.
Immediately Daryl recognized the animal from the pictures he'd seen. It was
Tshokwane alright, and Daryl immediately began to take some shots.
Suddenly the bull rushed forward, swaying its head from side to side. It
did this three times. The last time, it stopped just 20 feet away waving its
trunk. Daryl recognized it as a mock charge. When Daryl decided that it was
time to send the bull packing, he stood up and waved his arms and lifted the
tripod. It had the desired effect. Tshokwane retreated to the scrub and
Daryl was on his way to meet Sharna.
After he had walked for about 350 feet he looked behind and saw the
animal surrounded by the lush greenery. The soft, golden light of the
morning sun lit the elephant so perfectly that Daryl decided it was a scene
he had to photograph. He turned and slowly walked back towards the elephant.
Suddenly Tshokwane charged into the clearing. He stopped fifty feet away
from Daryl, bellowed loudly and with lowered head, he charged. Mock charges
were usually silent. But now, Tshokwane had its head down, its ears were
flapping wildly and his trunk was curled under its chest. This time the
elephant was attacking for real. Daryl immediately turned to run.
Tshokwane dealt the first blow on Daryl's lower back. It felt like a
punch and was probably made with the tip of its trunk. The next blow was
much heavier. It flung Daryl through the thorns. Daryl found himself lying
flat with his face in the ground. Before Daryl had a chance to regain his
strength, the elephant was on him, stamping its monstrous legs. Trying
desperately to avoid the beast, Daryl rolled wildly on the ground.
Then, hoping to ride out the attack, Daryl locked his arms around
Tshokwane's right foreleg. Soon, his cheek and inner arms were rubbed raw as
Tshokwane dragged him to and fro in an unsuccessful attempt to get rid of
All of a sudden, Daryl felt a crushing, stabbing pain in his left leg.
Tshokwane was standing on it and grinding it. Daryl screamed in pain and
managed to move his leg away. Then he felt the elephant's trunk tightening
above his knee. In a flash, he was thrown into the air and he crashed
heavily to the ground. When he looked up, he saw Tshokwane aiming his
massive tusk at him. He tried to move but he was not fast enough and he felt
the tusk hit the side of his head. Then Daryl lost consciousness.
When he woke up, he was extremely thirsty. His head and right hip were
throbbing with pain. Daryl spotted his revolver. If he could get it and fire
three shots, Sharna would be alerted to his distress and come in search of
him. He dragged himself towards it at a snail's pace. When the pain got
unbearable, he screamed in agony. Eventually he reached it and raised it to
fire three shots before he passed out again.
When Sharna heard the shots, she knew it must have been a trampling. She
drove in the direction where the shots came from. After some time, the scrub
became dense and she could only see a few feet ahead. Sharna ploughed on,
relying on her instincts. Then suddenly, she saw an area that looked like a
battle field with huge depressions in the earth. Bushes had been uprooted
and shattered camera equipment lay strewn about. In a corner, she saw
Daryl's broken body.
With her bare hands, she cleared the thorny branches to form a path and
reversed the truck closer to where Daryl lay. Sharna gently coaxed Daryl to
lift his body with his arms. Then, wrapping her arms around him, she slowly
lifted him forward and upward until he was safely in the vehicle. She rushed
to the hospital at 75 miles per hour. At the hospital, doctors found that
Daryl had a dislocated right hip, six fractured ribs and a cracked skull.
Daryl had to be in traction for a month but was back in the wild country in
less than six months.
Begin your summary as follows : After creeping to about a hundred feet
of the elephant ...