When it comes to precious resources for animals in the wild, competition can be fierce. One rhinoceros found that out the hard way when trying to defend its spot at the watering hole from a massive elephant.
The encounter took place in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in June, and the brutal conflict was caught on camera.
It begins with an elephant walking to a pool of water, toward a spot that a rhino and its baby don’t seem intent on giving up. Water, essential to life, is a highly guarded resource in drier areas.
The rhino, seemingly startled, charges the elephant. Stopping short when the massive pachyderm refuses to back down, the true battle then begins.
Soon after challenging the elephant, it becomes clear that the rhino is outmatched. The elephant effortlessly shoves its rival, trampling the baby rhino underfoot.
The rhinos beat a hasty retreat once the elephant asserts his right to the water.
Footage taken by a tourist shows this natural display of force in its entirety.
The shock of the encounter was retold by Krishna Tummalapalli, the Indian-American tourist who filmed the two massive animals sparring.
“We went to the watering hole and were watching two rhinos drinking water for a bit of time before we spotted two elephants approaching from the distance,” Tummalapalli said, according to Kruger Sightings. “We were curious about what was about to happen but we never expected them to get into a fight.”
Originally hailing from India, Tummalapalli and his family were used to the smaller Indian elephants. Nothing could prepare them for the sheer display of force they witnessed at the park.
“We were amazed that we could see something like the elephant become aggressive towards the rhinos. We were also worried for the baby rhino, especially after the elephant pushed the rhino mom over her own baby!”
“Who knew that an elephant carries such power?”
Elephants kill roughly 300 people every year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Although humans poach many more elephants for their ivory, this proves the deadly amount of power in these animals.
Shortly after filming the brutal encounter, the elephant turned on the safari vehicle.
“After the rhinos managed to escape some serious injury, the elephant started facing us and moving in our direction,” Tummalapalli said. “I don’t know whether it would have attacked us, but we put some more distance between the safari vehicle and the aggressive elephant before we could find out.”
This safari group was incredibly lucky to see such a raw show of nature’s power but even more lucky to escape without suffering the aggressive elephant’s wrath.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.