Answer by Rory Young:
Yes. They would enrage the animal. There are much better ways to deter elephants which I will explain further on.
I was just recently looking into a story about three people who were killed fairly recently in Kazungula in Zambia (Elephant kills 3 people in Kazungula) and subsequently discovered that it had been shot with bird-shot from a shot-gun the night before.
This sort of scenario is quite common with elephants. In a misguided attempt to deter them from crops people end up making them dangerous and this often ends in tragedy.
There are better ways to deter them such as hot pepper plants for example. Have a look at Elephant Pepper They can be planted or the pepper mixed with old engine oil and smeared on twine which is then strung around areas that need to be protected.
Electric fences are popular but elephants often quickly learn how to break them without being shocked.
Chillies can also be mixed with green vegetation or dung and burnt. The smoke is a deterrent to elephants.
Elephants don’t like noise so banging pots helps. However, this should be done from a good distance and preferably indoors as from close by it can cause the elephants to charge. Shots fired can also work but of course one should never fire a shot into the air (what goes up must come down) so blank cartridges are best.
Bright and flashing lights are also useful but again not from anywhere near the elephant/s as these can also cause them to attack.
All in all, chillies and other such “passive” deterrents are the safest methods for all concerned.