Julianne Hough is opening up about a terrifying encounter with an angry elephant while on her honeymoon with husband, Brooks Laich.
While their Instagram photographs from their Kenyan honeymoon looking idyllic and picture-perfect, the actress and Dancing With the Stars judge revealed in a blog post on her website how it was anything but for one very frightening moment.
Following their July 8 wedding in Idaho, Hough and Canadian ice hockey player, Laich, jetted off to Frégate Island in the Seychelles and then to Kenya, where the pair got close to hippos, wildebeests, zebras and elephants.
Hough reveals after learning of the classic film Out of Africa was filmed at the Angama Mara resort they were staying at, they wanted to see the movie.
Inspired by the true story based on Karen Blixen’s life in Kenya and the things she did for the Maasai people, Hough and her husband wanted to replicate one of the film’s most iconic scenes where Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are having a picnic.
“Of course upon discovering that the location this scene was shot at was just over the hillside, I wanted to pay homage to Blixen and her story by recreating the iconic photo from the movie — picnic and all!” Hough wrote in a post called, “That Time We Had a Brush With Death.”
With the help of rangers, the two replicated everything, a moment Hough called, “beautiful.”
“Everyone took off to allow Brooks and I to enjoy the moment. We sat there looking out over the land, having champagne, and reflecting on our magical trip,” she writes.
However, that moment of bliss lasted for a few minutes as Hough and Laich heard a low-pitched, gut-turning growl surrounded them.
“We weren’t scared… we were terrified,” she writes. “Within seconds we were in survival mode. We knew not to run or make any sudden movements, and Brooks grabbed the only objects we could use as weapons if we needed to protect ourselves.”
She adds, unfortunately, two of those things were butter knives.
“For a second we thought about breaking the champagne bottle to use, but decided we’d feel awful about shattering glass all over nature,” she wrote. “We heard the growl again, and this time it was even more terrifying. I’d never seen Brooks this scared.”
Contemplating that they both jump and hang onto a tree until someone rescued them from a large cat that was “stalking” them, Hough and Laich decided to glance over the hill and walk themselves back to safety, a moment she said had her “heart racing.”
“We looked back once halfway down the hill to find our ranger yelling and waving his hands from where we’d just escaped,” she wrote, adding that the ranger yelled, “Elephant!”
“No elephants! There’s a cat up there!” Hough wrote.
The ranger radioed the guide and responded, “Elephant purr!”
Hough and her husband were in disbelief, wondering how what the ranger could be saying was true.
“After dramatically escaping death by beast we decided to bring our picnic inside,” she wrote. “As soon as we were within reach of wifi we did some digging and, as it turns out, elephants do in fact purr! And it’s really cute.”
Photo credit: Twitter / @bridalworldwide