The next day we were told that the rest of the herd had moved on somewhere else leaving the biggest male calf behind. This may be a natural part of their life cycle that the male moves away when it reaches maturity. Anyway this male calf, was loitering within our farm and the land next to us for the day. We were watching its pattern as it ate grass and explored the neighbours shed and walked in and out at will.
Then around noon we heard a lot of shouts and screams. We were near the cheese cottage that is poised opposite the slope where the elephant was so we had a birds eye view of what was happening. The elephant had decided that it had had enough of the tea pickers and other workers in our neighbours plot and was chasing them and they were running for their life. Then he changed his tack and went for a single tea-picking woman with a vengeance. Roughly at this point I got my act together and started clicking with full zoom hoping the photos were not too blurred.
Just then the woman who was making her escape thru the tea bushes fell and disappeared out of sight under the bushes. The elephant came within 5 to 10 feet from here and started pushing the bushes aside with his snout to find her. We all thought she was done for when she suddenly got up and starting running again. The elephant took a few seconds to react then chased her again jumping down an embankment that she had managed to cross safely a few seconds earlier (see photos).
Luckily there were a lot of workers, carpenters, masons etc working on our land and they were making a big racket and this deterred the elephant finally and it reluctantly turned around and sauntered back up to continue its feeding and the woman ran to safety into our side of the fence. We were all relieved and much wiser about the reality of an elephant charge. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that we had witnessed a near-death situation. Had it been one of the older woman who work there she may not have got away.