An American tourist in Bali had a shocking experience after an elephant bit and broke her arm while she was posing for a photo with the animal in a resort.
Beth Bogar says that she could hear cracking when the elephant grabbed her arm and sucked it into his mouth. The episode underlines the risk of posing with animals for photos — especially large ones like an elephant.
“I couldn’t get my arm out, I could just hear cracking, and I started to panic,” Beth, who was holidaying with her husband Les, tells WMUR.
Posing With an Elephant for a Photo
The incident took place at the Mason Elephant Park and Lodge, its Instagram page is filled with tourists getting spectacular photos and videos with elephants.
Undoubtedly the attraction is aimed at social media users and influencers who want a special shot. While many question the morality of keeping such animals caged, the park generally has good reviews with westerners claiming the elephants are treated well.
However, what happened to Beth shows that elephants are not to be taken lightly. And getting up, close, and personal with them for a photo can prove catastrophic. Beth says she was being directed by the elephant’s trainer who was instructing her on how best to pose with the animal.
“I just feel like the guide was guiding me and he let my arm get too close to his mouth and I didn’t know how close too close was,” she tells WMUR.
Beth was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery where she got plates and screws inserted to put her arm back together — landing her with a $10,000 medical bill.
Beth and Les claim that after initially getting correspondence from the elephant resort stating that they would investigate the incident and help her by paying half of the bill, they suddenly stopped responding to all calls and messages.
“They were assuring us all the while ‘Don’t worry we have insurances we can handle this situation we’ll get you taken care of’,” Les tells WMUR.
Beth says that she knew the risks when she entered the park and doesn’t blame the elephant — she was after all only doing what hundreds of tourists had done before her and under the supervision of the elephant’s trainer.
“I just wish that they [the resort] could have been a little more helpful,” she says. “In a split second, your entire trip can really be changed, and not just your trip but your life can really be changed.”