Written by Flo Montgomery and David Liebst
A sad story unfolded last season in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. Guests of Mdonya Old River camp saw a gruelling fight between a pride of lions and a baby elephant who had become separated from its herd.
The youngster fought magnificently, turning again and again to shake off the lions, who nevertheless showed no signs of giving up.
Later in the day, the herd finally came to try to rescue the elephant calf who was now too weak to move. Again and again they chase off the lions and tried to chivvy the youngster to come with them, but to no avail. His injuries were too great for him to escape.
Some of the lion prides in Ruaha have become very large and strong and will easily take on a young elephant – as evident in this particular situation. Interestingly, another favourite prey is giraffe, the national animal of Tanzania.