On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with his left leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed extremely distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s left foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.
The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, full of fear, thinking of nothing else but being trampled to death. Eventually the elephant carefully patted him with his trunk and then trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away. Peter never ever forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Daniel were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter and lifted its front left foot off the ground and then put it back down. The elephant repeated this several times and then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at Peter.
Remembering that amazing encounter back in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this really was the same elephant.
Peter summoned up all of his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back at him in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing with all of his might… killing Peter instantly.
…It probably wasn’t the same elephant!