Elephant in Kenya interrupts reporter Alvin Kaunda in viral video

Elephant in Kenya interrupts reporter Alvin Kaunda in viral video
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Alvin Kaunda was detailing the effects of human actions on the natural world when the tip of a brown log appeared just behind his left ear.

The trunk, belonging to one of the young residents of an elephant orphanage in Nairobi where Kaunda had gone to tell a story about the devastating drought affecting Kenya and its wildlife, slung gently over the journalist’s shoulder before turning up to investigate his ear, scanning the side of his head. Kaunda, however, seemed unfazed by the unexpected intrusion of his personal space and continued to deliver his report on camera, only to finally burst out laughing when the elephant’s leathery appendage began to smell his face.

Clips of the moment began circulating online over the weekend and have since racked up millions of views, propelling Kaunda and the curious young elephant to viral fame. The brief interaction between the reporter and the subject delighted viewers and left many in awe of Kaunda’s ability to maintain his composure for so long. the Sheldrick Wildlife Trusta non-profit organization that runs the orphanage, identified the elephant like Kindania 4-year-old female who was rescued in April 2018.

“The baby elephant interrupting a TV reporter is the best part of today.” tweeted a Twitter user, who shared a video of the exchange that has been viewed more than 11.8 million times as of Wednesday.

For Kaunda, it all started as just another day at work.

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. The reporter was on a mission to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage, according to Kenya has been battling its worst drought in four decades, and local authorities say the weather is extreme killing 20 times more elephants than poaching. A recent report published by the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife revealed that more than a thousand animals have died as a result of the drought, including wildebeest, zebra, elephant and buffalo.

Unrelenting drought kills hundreds of Kenyan zebras, elephants and wildebeests

Kaunda told a local kenyan radio station that he knew he wanted to do a shot at the orphanage where he would be speaking in front of the elephants. But he was struggling to finish his report and had already tried 10 takes, all of which were unsuccessful.

“I kept my distance, but I was so focused I didn’t even realize they were getting closer,” he said.

At the start of what would become the viral moment, Kaunda, clad in a red and navy T-shirt and jacket, can be seen standing among several reddish-brown elephants clutching a microphone with the KBC logo in hand. In the background, Kindani has his trunk on the back of one of the other elephants.

“Here we go,” says a weak off-camera voice.

With a quick inhalation, Kaunda focuses his gaze on the camera and begins.

“They say that charity begins at home,” says Kaunda, with a serious expression, “and for these young orphaned elephants, this charity is what they call home.”

He briefly looks away from the camera when one of the elephants appears to nudge the side of his body with its head, but he doesn’t falter. Instead, he places a gentle hand on the elephant’s head and presses on, apparently determined to get a usable shot.

Kindani, however, now directly behind him, seems to have other plans.

“And with increasing instances of drought, it’s up to us to be the guardians of our own natural world,” Kaunda says, ignoring the elephant’s trunk peering closely into his ear. He moves to the top of his head before slowly descending towards the center of his face, forcing Kaunda to close his eyes as he continues to speak boldly.

But when Kindani’s trunk begins to touch his nose and mouth, the reporter gives up. Giggling a high-pitched chuckle, he squirms, drawing off-camera laughter as the elephant quickly pulls her trunk back from him.

On social media, the interaction, which lasted less than a minute, soon captivated people around the world.

“Most of us would have lost our professionalism much sooner!” the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust tweeted. “An important piece related to the drought, but our orphans just saw a visitor to investigate!”

Kindani “knows exactly what she plans to do,” the organization says. added in another tweet, responding to a Twitter user who pointed to the elephant’s eyes moments before it approached Kaunda. “Side gaze is often a precursor to cheeky behavior.”

Faced with the stubborn elephant, many onlookers were impressed by Kaunda’s determination.

“I’m amazed at how long this reporter was able to keep his composure,” said one person. tweeted. “I would have started laughing at the first touch.”

Another Twitter user applauded to the journalist for his “astonishing professional control”.

“The reporter stayed the course until it was no longer possible to do so,” the person wrote. “I’m glad he got a laugh at the end, it did my heart good.”

In the interview with the Kenyan radio station, Kaunda described the trunk as “tickly”, saying: “[I] I just tried to stay calm.”

“It didn’t actually have any odor,” he said. “I’m sure if it had an unpleasant odor, it would have really distracted me. It wasn’t normal, but I liked the experience.”

Kaunda, who calls A “wildlife enthusiast” himself, he said he hopes to experience more of these encounters, adding that he aims to get “up close” to various species of animals. “So far there are only two left; the lion and the leopard.”

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