Watch: Schwarzenegger Almost Terminated as Elephant Chases Actor

Arnold Schwarzenegger elephant
Arnold Schwarzenegger got up close and personal with an elephant while on safari in South Africa, as this screenshot from a video posted on YouTube by the actor on May 31 shows. YouTube

Arnold Schwarzenegger has dealt with some worthy foes in his time.

The Austria-born former bodybuilder killed an extraterrestrial foe in Predator, destroyed the evil Thulsa Doom as Conan the Barbarian, and even did battle with Los Angeles’ gridlocked roads as the governor of California.

But the 68-year-old had an encounter with a huge male elephant while on safari in South Africa that almost resulted in him being terminated.

Schwarzenegger posted a video to social media Tuesday of his almost ill-fated safari. The elephant approaches his jeep with an air of curiosity, clanging its tusk against the hood of the vehicle. The panicked driver starts the jeep’s engine, at which the beast backs off. A fellow passenger asks, “Is he backing off because of the engine?” to which Schwarzenegger replies, “No, he’s going to charge us.”

The elephant then appears to lose interest and wanders into the bush at the side of the road. But with an apparent change of heart, the animal strides back towards the vehicle, prompting the driver to take off. The elephant then breaks into a short chase which, fortunately for Schwarzenegger, resulted in the jeep getting away.

The actor said on social media that he “couldn’t have written this encounter better if it was for a movie” and also admitted that some of his group “had to change our pants” after the close encounter. Schwarzenegger signed off with a message for would-be poachers. “I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful animals, and I wish people would stop killing them for their ivory,” he said. “Take a photo, not a shot.”

Tens of thousands of elephants across Africa are poached each year for their ivory. Poachers killed 20 elephants in South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park between May 2014 and the end of 2015 after more than a decade without elephant poaching occurring in the park.