Wildlife photographer Rian Van Schalkwyk was eating at a restaurant in Namibia’s Erindi Private Game Reserve that overlooked a watering hole while a group of about 20 hippos grazed. As he snapped pictures, an elephant bull emerged from the bush to come take his share of the food the hippos were eating.
At first the herd of hippos and the single elephant shared the space amicably, but then the elephant seemed to start getting agitated at the hippos’ proximity. Then all of a sudden he lunged toward a group of them. A baby darted out of the way and a full-grown mother hippo took the brunt of the massive animal’s attack…
Despite full-grown female hippos weighing around 1.5 tons, the elephant was able to use his momentum and a flick of his trunk to flip the hippo with apparent ease.
Van Schalkwyk reports…
She landed on her back and rolled 360 degrees down the embankment towards the water.
Afterwards, the elephant just stood there and shook his head. The hippo retreated into the water. The calf ran away towards the other hippos and the mother stayed in the water for about five minutes before eventually coming out.
I felt very sorry for the mother trying to protect her young. It was quite emotional to see her go to those lengths, to stand her ground against a much bigger animal.
You could see in her whole demeanor that she was quite taken aback, even the elephant seemed like he was thinking about what he did.
(via The Daily Mail)