The two massive animals of the animal world collided dramatically in a ferocious fight at a wildlife reserve in Africa.
Louis Kok and his wife Marthie took these stunning pictures of a furious bull elephant a.tta.cking a rhinoceros, flipping it on its back, and leaving it with its legs in the air.
When the testosterone-fuelled, one-tusked elephant approached, the couple from Pretoria, South Africa, were photographing a rhino cow and her calf.
The two were astounded to see the peaceful situation develop into a ferocious fight as the bull elephant charged at the protective rhino mother.
Mr. Kok said: ‘Male elephants on musth, fuelled by exorbitant levels of testosterone, are extremely dangerous and will attack anything which stands in their path.’
Musth is a condition in which bull elephants’ testosterone levels may rise up to 60 times higher than usual, making them highly aggressive.
‘The elephant immediately felled the rhino, which was helplessly pinned to the ground with its legs in the air,’ Mr. Kok added.
The elephant was dragging the defenseless rhino around in the dust and pounding it repeatedly under its huge weight – in a frightening display of speed, agility, and incredible strength.’
The rhino’s calf ran to its mother’s side after the fight.
‘The calf lingered in the area for a while, circling her mother and attempting to assist her up,’ Mr Kok continued.
The park’s management was notified, and they said that the rhino miraculously managed to stand up about two hours after the assault.
She was seen the following day about 300 meters from the fight site, but she died a few days later as a result of her in.ju.ries.
The pair were told not to reveal its existence to avoid the park being overrun with poachers.