Shocking Video Shows Elephant Charging at Bus, Shattering Windshield With its Tusks

A shocking social media video shows an Indian elephant charging at a bus and shattering the windshield with its tusks. Many commenters online praised the "brave" bus driver, who managed to stay calm and deliver the passengers to safety.

India Times reported that the bus was transporting government employees from Kotagiri to Mettupalayam—a district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu—when the incident took place. Supriya Sahu, Principal Secretary of India's Environment, Climate Change and Forest Department, shared a video of the interaction to Twitter later that day.

"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," Sahu tweeted. "He helped passengers move back safely, in an incident today morning. Thats [sic] why they say a cool mind works wonders."

She credited the video to an unnamed friend.

In the video, the elephant can be seen charging after the bus as the driver backs the vehicle away from the large mammal. Once the bus stops, the elephant stands still for a moment, before finally ramming its tusks into the windshield, shattering the glass. A few passengers shout in response, but the driver remains calm.

Eventually, the driver evacuates the bus from the rear as the elephant continues to stare at the vehicle. As passengers exit, the elephant strikes the windshield one final time.

Unfortunately, elephant-human conflict is relatively common in India. Newsweek previously reported that between 2014 and 2019, more than 2,300 people in the country were killed by elephants. Additional data from the Union Environment Ministry showed that more than 500 people and approximately 100 elephants die in India each year as a result of this conflict.

Non-profit foundation Asian Elephant Support cited loss of habitat as a major cause of human-elephant conflict.

"Almost all elephant habitat is surrounded by farmland where locals earn their living and often reside," the foundation said on its website. "In many cases, these farmlands are created by clearing prime elephant habitat."

No one was harmed during Saturday's conflict, and the elephant left the scene and returned to the forest, multiple reports stated. IBTimes India said that the driver eventually transported all passengers to safety.

Commenters online were impressed with the driver's ability to remain calm.

"Drivers need this courage and coolness to handle such situations," said Satheesh Kumar. "Reversing the Bus in a Ghat section when an animal conflict is so risky but still he handled it maturedly [sic]."

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

— Satheesh Kumar (@saysatheesh) September 25, 2021

"Wonderful. Hats off to the brave and cool man," commented Malarvizhi Thenmozhiyan.

"Extraordinary [sic] brilliant helping passengers by using high presence of mind," added Veera Raghav Pandian. "What a talent!!"

Indian elephant
A shocking social media video shows an Indian elephant charging at a bus and shattering the windshield with its tusks. Despite the scary encounter, the bus driver was able to remain calm and helped get his passengers to safety. Wayne Marinovich/iStock