HomeNewsSaying ‘sorry’ saves couple from elephant attack

Saying ‘sorry’ saves couple from elephant attack


A YOUNG Zimbabwean couple has survived being gored and trampled by elephants — and they say it was all down to the power of one word: Sorry.

Hayley Simleit (28) and Dylan Taylor (27) were walking in the bush near the safari lodge they help run in Chirundu, western Zimbabwe, when they were suddenly attacked by a young bull elephant.

As the elephant straddled the already injured Simleit, bending its head down ready to gore her, her fiance leapt on its head in an amazing act of bravery. But then the animal turned on him. Gored in the neck, with six fractured ribs and convinced he was about to die, Taylor shouted over and over again: “Sorry.”

“I don’t know why I said that word,” the former Southampton, UK, resident said. “But there was definitely a break, a change at that point.”

The couple had taken their dogs for a walk on July 20 near Tiger Safaris Fishing Camp on the Zambezi when they saw a young male elephant on the roadside and quickened their pace. Young bulls are the most dangerous elephants in Africa, liable to charge without warning. This is what the animal did, making straight for Simleit. As she ran she fell, spraining her ankle. Seconds later, the bull was on top of her. “He was kneeling on my arm,” Simleit told The Scotsman.

Taylor threw a stick. Then, thinking Simleit’s back was broken, he did the unthinkable: flung himself at the elephant.

As the elephant turned on Taylor, Simleit managed to run. Without knowing why, Taylor started to speak to the elephant. Just one word — sorry. That was when the tempo of the attack changed.
— The Scotsman

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading