A courageous elephant mother charged two lionesses in order to defend her calf from being eaten.
A baby elephant that had strayed from its herd showed up when the lionesses were hunting a warthog, according to wildlife photographer Kevin Dooley, who captured the scenes at Mana Pools National Park last month.
According to Mr. Dooley, the elephant calf began chasing the warthog without realizing the predators were nearby before being pinned down by the lions who attempted to ki.l.l it.
Mr. Dooley explained that while the warthog would be eaten in a few hours, a baby elephant could keep the lions fed for days.
‘One of the lionesses was very pregnant and in need of food,’ he said.
Because elephants are such a difficult prey for lions to kill, most young lions must grow up in a pride with other lionesses that specialize in killing elephants before they will at.ta.ck them. Otherwise, they may avoid them and go for smaller and less dangerous food.
The leopards used their jaws to bite at the elephant’s ears, forcing it to the ground; one leopard then leapt on its back and forced it to the ground while another leopard straddled its neck and squeezed.
The newborn elephant began screaming violently, and a juvenile elephant promptly showed up to aid its younger sibling.
The lions eventually released the young elephant calf, but not until the youngster had suffered a fatal injury. Soon the mother elephant showed up, and in all her anger and power, she charged at the predators attempting to kil.l. her juvenile calf.
The mother elephant responded with angry screams and threw dust into the air after one of the lionesses ran away.
The second lioness clung to her mother and snarled and hissed at her. The elephant, though, did not flee and, after a long battle, the lion eventually gave up. The lion realized that she was no match for an enraged adult elephant.
The mother elephant raised the youngster up with her trunk once the lions had gone. She detected the baby and examined him. The lions fled into the bushes nearby. The whole herd of now six or seven elephants rushed toward the bushes, forcing the lions to flee.
‘I knew I had a once-in-a-lifetime event taking place in front of me. I was very busy just trying to get the photographs.
‘I was lonely in the forest when I first saw the lionesses, but I understood they had to eat. When the mother elephant charged the lions, I knew they had no chance.’