I was on vacation in Mana Pools National Park in northern Zimbabwe with my quadcopter and FPV + camera, a Canon Ixus 220 HS.
In this game park it is legal to walk unaccompanied by a ranger or official guide in spite of 4 of the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard) occurring there. I am actually a qualified trails and safari guide with more than 10 years experience so walking in the African bush is second nature to me.
My quad however, had developed a strange anomaly of losing power in one motor and landing hard and as there was no internet access within 200km I had to make do. (Jason Short has subsequently had a look at the logs and to date we still don't know what is causing it)
Anyway, generally I discovered it could fly for around 8 minutes before the problem showed up and I wanted to try get some wildlife on video so when I saw this elephant standing under a Winterthorn or Apple-ring Acacia eating the pods I set up the quad and FPV and started videoing.
I took off and flew towards the tree, you can see the baboons bailing out of the tree as the quad approaches. The elephant doesn't seem to notice as I hover a 'non-interfering' distance away. Then the worst thing happens, the "problem" appears after only a minute or two! Now the only way is down and the quad crashes about 25m from the elephant, about 150m from where I'm standing, unfortunately the camera breaks free and lands pointing skyward. Now with this “problem” the quad usually resets and can take off again so I try to do that but a small shrub hooks the quad and it flips upside down! By now the 5 ton elephant is getting interested in the noise and commotion so he starts approaching the downed quad...
I can't do anything now with the quad anyway so I just wait and watch..., thankfully he loses interest and goes back to his pods. However I now need to retrieve the quad and camera!
Well to cut a long story short the elephant would not let me approach the quad, but only because he didn't want to move away from “his” yummy pods. So I got charged twice before he started to get the idea and moved to the other side of the tree, then a little further after I “spoke nicely” and waved my hat and arms around, only then could I get to the quad. No damage, not even a broken propellor and the camera's fine too. Anyway enjoy the vid.