There's a right way and a wrong way to behave around Africa's largest land mammals. This is the wrong way:

Footage captured last weekend in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, shows a passenger leaping out of a vehicle and fleeing into the surrounding bushveld when a bull elephant sidled up to the parked sedan he was in. The incident was caught on camera by a family who were holidaying in the park and witnessed the whole thing from the safety of their car a few hundred metres down the road.

Thankfully, the elephant chose not to pursue the shaken man and lumbered off allowing him to hastily return to the vehicle. Whilst we can understand the temptation to hoof it when faced with a six-ton giant looming down on you – especially considering the species' track record for flipping cars – fleeing on foot is far more dangerous. African elephants can run at speeds upwards of 24 kilometres per hour (15 mph), so the average human would have a hard time outrunning one of these massive mammals should it decide to give chase.

And then there's the risk of stumbling across any number of other dangerous game while hurtling through the dense vegetation. As is the case in almost all African game reserves, tourists are not permitted to leave their vehicles while navigating through Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park except in designated areas, and doing so can result in a hefty fine (or possibly worse if you encounter any dangerous wildlife). 

It's unclear how the vehicle in this video wound up directly in the path of an elephant bull. The golden rule when self-driving in game reserves is to keep a safe distance from wild animals. Elephants often use roadways to navigate through their home ranges and it's best to give them a wide berth. "In the event that you find yourself in such proximity [to an elephant], close the windows and do not move," Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo explained to a local new outlet

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Top header image: Brittany H., Flickr