Taking selfies with wild animals isn't cute, it's dangerous.

That's what this couple visiting Khao Yai National Park in central Thailand, about 200km northeast of Bangkok, quickly discovered when they tried to take a selfie with a wild elephant.

The visitors, who were jogging around the national park when they spotted the elephant, were then left running for their lives as it turned on them and chased them.

Their encounter was captured by a Facebook user, Kamron Petprayoon, who was taking photos of the male elephant from a safe distance after spotting him on a roadside leading to the national park.

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This elephant did not appreciate its photo being taken. Photo / Kamron Petprayoon, Facebook
This elephant did not appreciate its photo being taken. Photo / Kamron Petprayoon, Facebook

"I stopped my car and took photos of the elephant. Drivers of vehicles that followed me along the road spotted it also and refused to drive past it. So I led them past the elephant which appeared to pay no attention to us," he wrote.

"After about 14 kilometres, the elephant was eating leaves when I saw two runners go near the animal and take selfies with it. When they went nearer, I turned to change my lens. When I turned back, I saw the elephant quietly running towards them."

Mr Petprayoon said he shouted "watch out" and the couple began to sprint. He said the elephant eventually stopped as they got far enough away but when they stopped running, it began to chase them again.

"When the runners had gone far ahead of the animal, it stopped chasing. But when they stopped running, it chased them again but this time, it made a loud noise. This happened about three times."

The couple are lucky they got away unharmed. Image: Kamron Petprayoon, Facebook
The couple are lucky they got away unharmed. Image: Kamron Petprayoon, Facebook

The angry elephant then stood in the middle of the road blocking traffic until park rangers came to chase it away.

Kanchit Sri-noppawan, chief of the national park, told The Nation that the couple are lucky they escaped unharmed.

"Such acts are very dangerous because if the elephant gets angry, it could attack and kill them. It's a warning to other tourists as well. They are very lucky that the animal was not very angry," he said.

"People can gauge an elephant's feelings by looking at its ears and tails. If it is moving its ears back and forth, it suggests that it is in a good mood. But if it raises its ears and points its tail, that's a warning that it is very disturbed and could harm people."

This isn't the first time an animal has turned on a selfie-taking tourist. A series of photographs of a woman's encounter with a Barbary macaque went viral on Twitter last month as it captured the monkey lunging at her then chasing her when it didn't want its photograph taken.