Schwarzenegger posted a video of the charge on Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday with the comment: “I couldn’t have written this safari encounter better if it was for a movie.”
The 68-year-old former California governor and bodybuilder was in South Africa for an annual fitness conference and exhibition named after him.
The short video clip shows a large elephant menacing the open game viewing vehicle, as Schwarzenegger is heard saying: “He’s going to charge us.”
Schwarzenegger did not reveal which game park he was visiting when the video was shot — nor who it was who had to “change(their)pants”.
“I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful animals, and I wish people would stop killing them for their ivory,” he posted. “We need to stop killing them – take a photo, not a shot.”
More than 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year to supply an illegal trade controlled by criminal gangs feeding demand in the Far East.
“Would you rather be able to experience these creatures or a hunk of ivory?” asked the former “Governator”.