A crocodile likely thought it had found an easy meal when it began stalking an elephant calf. Unfortunately for the apex predator, the young elephant’s much bigger mother was on high alert and about to show the croc it made a big mistake when it dared to prey on her offspring. Luckily for us, it was all caught on video.
Hans Henrik Haahr, a tourist from Århus, Denmark, was in Zambia in East Africa when he captured an amazing sight on video. While on safari with a group from the Baines River Camp, in the Lower Zambezi Valley, Hans spotted a large female elephant in the shallow water of the Zambezi river. The elephant had spotted something too; namely, a crocodile.
The apex predator had been stalking the elephant’s calf, who was on the river’s bank, according to Daily Mail. Luckily, the mother elephant saw what was going on and decided to do something about it. In the shocking footage, the large, angry African elephant is seen violently attacking the crocodile after it dared to prey upon her calf.
As the brutal battle between the two powerful beasts unfolded in front of the safari party, hearts likely raced as onlookers wonder who will be the victor. It was quickly apparent, however, that this was one unlucky crocodile as the mother elephant stomped on the large semiaquatic reptile that had been lurking too close to the water’s edge near her child.
Although the crocodile appears to be eight to ten feet long, it was no match for the weight of the adult, female African elephant, which averages between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, according to SeaWorld. In fact, the angry mom was able to stomp the croc to death in the dramatic video before flinging its body about like a ragdoll, using its mouth and trunk before stomping on it some more.
“Guests witnessed this dramatic sighting unfold between two of Africa’s most feared mega-fauna,” a spokesperson for the Bains River Camp, which led the safari, said on its Facebook page while posting the video. “Perhaps this was a revenge attack fueled by previous ambush attempts by many a crocodile on her young or the greater herd. Whatever it was, this cow was here with one intention only.”
Hans Henrik Haahr, the Danish tourist who captured the impressive footage, described the encounter as “shocking,” and the footage was dramatic indeed as the crocodile didn’t go down without a fight but rather thrashed beneath the surface of the water as it was held down by the massive African elephant.
Despite not having tusks, the elephant used her weight to crush the predator under the water. Then, after relentlessly smashing the reptile under its massive weight, the elephant grabbed the croc by the tail and lifted it clear out of the water. At this point, the crocodile has ceased struggling, suggesting that it was either already dead or mortally wounded by this stage.
The safari company said it best: “While this footage might be difficult to watch, it demonstrates just how raw and tough life is in the bush.” It also demonstrates why the African elephant is considered one of Africa’s Top 10 Deadliest Animals, along with the crocodile. After witnessing this footage, it’s easy to see why healthy adult elephants have no natural predators. Instead, the elephant’s only predators — not natural but by hunting — are human beings.
It also explains why some have suggested the real “King of the Jungle” isn’t the adult male lion, which is known for being the apex land predator, but rather the healthy, adult male elephant, which can weigh up to 15,000 pounds, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. When you can squash an 8-foot or greater crocodile with your foot, even the most dangerous beasts of prey aren’t going to stand a chance.
Lastly, this is also the perfect representation of what many mothers — regardless of species — will do to keep their children safe from harm’s way. Whether you think a male lion or a male elephant is “King of the Jungle,” the “Queen” is definitely a mother protecting her young. After all, there’s a reason the phrase “mama bear” has become so popular. As the old saying goes, “There is no more dangerous a place than between a mother and her child.” This croc found that out the hard way.