Musth is a periodic condition in a bull elephants when they have a large rise in reproductive hormones and the Testosterone levels can be 60 times the normal times. An elephant in musth can be identified very easily as the elephant discharges thick tar like secretion called temporin from their temporal glands on side of the head. An elephant in musth is very aggressive and even the most placid ones become very violent towards humans and other animals and hence it is not able to predict their actions rationally,
Given the condition of the bull elephant on the safari path our driver did not want to try speeding by the elephant for it would surely attack the vehicle. He stopped the vehicle and hoped that the bull would cross the safari path sufficiently far so that we could speed off but then no, this elephant in musth started walking towards the jeep.
Now we were literally stuck with the females in the back blocking the safari path and the huge male walking towards us. The driver was slowly reversing the jeep and few of us watching the back and others watching the front with bated breathe and hoping that nothing untoward happens.
The bull elephant kept on coming and the jeep kept reversing on the path towards the small herd of female elephants. The herd started moving out of the path when it saw the bull elephant and this was the window our driver was looking for and with a burst of speed reversed the vehicle further back to a safe distance and then we kept watching the scene as to how one female elephant beckoned the male and after a moment the tusker also moved away from the path into the forest behind the females.
The rush of adrenalin in all the persons in the jeep was clearly visible and my companions enjoyed these moments for it was their first time in such situations and especially with elephants. The safari vehicle drive and the naturalist in the jeep were very skilled and exhibited coolness and did not panic in this situation and we are thankful to them for a wonderful safari.
Hope you enjoyed these moment while reading the post and viewing the photographs / video.