Mildura Weekly : Friday April 18 2014 Vol 8 No 24
www.milduraweekly.com.au 8 Mildura Weekly – 18/04/14 FROM barely 50 metres away, the giant bull elephant could sense – and smell – the small group of humans ‘invading’ its territory in a remote cor- ner of Hwange National Park game reserve in Zimbabwe. Former Coomealla High School teacher John Coo- per and the rest of the safari froze. The elephant kicked up clumps of dirt with its feet, gave a loud trumpet - and charged! “Don’t move,” warned the African guide. The ground was shaking as the elephant bore down on them. The guide cocked and aimed his heavy calibre elephant gun. It’s a necessary precau- tion. The guide had told them, and John knew from his own experiences, that nine times out of 10, the charge is a bluff...just letting intruders know who’s boss. Thankfully, John said, this was one of those times. Ears flapping, the behemoth stopped just 10 metres away, trumpeted again, then turned and walked slowly away. John, 57, said there are few things that compare with the charge of wild animals in their natural habitat. He’s the first to admit it’s an adrenaline rush of ma- jor proportions. Apart from the elephant, the wild animals to watch out for are the rhino and hippopotamus - but according to John, the most dangerous of all is the King of the Jungle - the male lion. And John should know. He’s been charged by them all, with the lion being one of the more recent encoun- ters. “It’s not so much the charge...it’s the deep-throat- ed growling noise it makes,” John said. “It’s not like any sound you’ve heard before... . more like a force of nature... absolutely spine-chilling.” The Mildura Weekly caught up with John when he visited Sunraysia to sup- port local artists and amateur photographers at their recent exhibition at Gallery 25, the result of one of his African wildlife safaris last year. John is no stranger to the Mildura region. Born, raised and educated in the Woy Woy region of NSW, he got a job at Coomealla High School not long after gradu- ating from Sydney Universi- ty, after majoring in English, history and archaeology. • Continued next page It’s a unique safari experience, and yes, there’s a charge...sometimes by a wild rhino, elephant or hippo! It can be He’s been leading safaris to Africa for the past seven years. The experienced guide, photographer, wildlife lover Africa – a walk few things that compare with the charge of wild animals in their natural habitat. He’s the first to admit it’s an adrenaline rush of ma- most dangerous of all is the King of the Jungle - And John should know. He’s been charged by them SELF HIRE AND DRIVE LONG & SHORT TERM RENTALS • 12-25 seat buses • Air conditioned latest models • Air conditioned utes • One Tonne Capacity • 3 Tonne Truck 5023 4366 FAX 5021 5041 COMPETITIVE RATES M HIRE SHORT TRIP CARS HORT ORT TRUCKS LONG TRAVEL DISTA NCES LONG TRAVEL DISTA NCES TRUCKS &CARS TRUCKS &CARS 12 - 25 SEATER BUSES FOR HIREE ELF DRIVE VEHICLES MOVERS TRAILERS TRAILERS BUSES TRUCKS UTES EE ELLFF DRRRIIVVVVVVVVVVE LL ONG OORR SH SH SHOR O TTER CCCCCCCCLLLLEEEEEEEES EE VVVVVVVVVVVEEEEE 122 - 222222222255555555555 SSSSSSSEAATER BUSESESESESSESESESES FFOR HIRE TRIPS RRRRRRRE OOOOR ORR HHHHHHHHHHIRIRIRIRIRIRIRIRIII TR OSS OS OS OS OS FFFFFOOOOO ATERERRRR BBBBBBBBUUS US US US US US US USEEEEEEE TTTTT TT TTTTT TT TTTTOOOOOOO THE FASTEST GROWING TRAILER ORGANISATION IN AUSTRALIA.
Friday April 11 2014 Vol 8 No 23
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