Aussie tourist’s wild run-in with curious elephant on holiday

A young Australian photographer has shared her incredibly close encounter with a curious elephant at a world-renowned national park.

Travelling with a friend through Sri Lanka, Georgia Debretton was filmed riding in the back of an open-sided vehicle in what is believed to be Yala National Park — best known for its conservation of the country’s elephants, leopards and birds.

The pair can be seen admiring the elephant when Georgia’s iPhone suddenly slips out of her hand and onto the bumpy road. She gasps and they call for the driver to stop.

Aussie tourist Georgia Debretton was travelling in Sri Lanka when she dropped her phone while admiring an elephant. Source: TikTok

However, nothing that can be done as the curious elephant follows the 4WD and quickly picks up the phone with its trunk.

“Oh no,” they shout in the TikTok video, claiming to hear a “crunch sound” as the animal takes a bite, before tossing it back down on the ground and walking away. Staff then retrieve Georgia’s phone, which surprisingly still works.

‘Great holiday story’

Despite extensive damage to the screen, Georgia was still able to laugh the experience off, saying it’s a funny story to tell her “future grandkids”.

The video from late June received more than one million views, with people intrigued over what the elephant would do with the phone. “Not me thinking at the start the elephant was going to give it back,” one person said.

“At least it still works,” another added. “That’s a great holiday story,” a third person weighed in.

The elephant cracked the iPhone screen with its mouth, however it still appeared to work.

Elephants are revered in Sri Lanka but are also endangered. Their numbers have dwindled from about 14,000 in the 19th century to 6,000 in 2011, according to the country’s first elephant census.