Written by: Ian Sailsburg
I managed to capture a sight that not many people get to see; a crocodile attack on a big bull elephant. The unsuspecting elephant was having a drink from a waterhole in Mfuwe, Zambia, when a croc suddenly appeared and grabbed the elephant by the trunk. It all happened in a matter of moments, but luckily I had my camera in hand and was able to photograph the whole event.
It was during the height of the dry season in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and with temperatures reaching upwards of 40 degrees, animals had to find water where they could. A small water hole in front of Mfuwe Lodge’s main viewing deck had been a favourite destination for these thirsty animal in the weeks leading up to the attack – especially for elephants. However, as we all know, drinking can be hazardous to your health.
Whilst quenching his thirst during the heat of the day, one bull elephant discovered that he was sticking his nose where it wasn’t wanted, and that his choice of drinking den wasn’t quite as empty and innocent at it first appeared to be.
Fortunately, even a fairly large, sharp-toothed crocodile is no match for a fully grown bull elephant. For the crocodile, it was definitely a case of biting off more than it could chew. With an ear piercing trumpet the elephant simply blew his nose and dislodged the offending reptile, with little damage – other than to his pride perhaps.
In Africa it always pays to check carefully before you start drinking…
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