This is the incredible moment a brave mother elephant charged at two lionesses to save her baby from being eaten in Zimbabwe.
Last month, photographer Kevin Dooley, who captured the scenes at Mana Pools National Park, said the lionesses were hunting warthog when a baby elephant wandered out of her herd.
Mr. Dooley said the baby elephant started chasing the jaguar without noticing warthog before being pinned to the ground by lions trying to k.i.ll it.
Mr. Dooley explained that, while a warthog would be eaten within a matter of hours, a baby elephant could have fed the lions for days.
He said: ‘One of the lionesses was pregnant and desperately needed food.
‘Elephants are a tough animal to k.il.l for lions, and normally lions would have to grow up in a pride in killing elephants, othewise they will avoid them and go in search of smaller and less dangerous prey.
‘The lions took the elephant down with ease, both jumped on the elephant’s back and pressed it to the ground, then they put all their weight and started immobilizing the elephant.
‘The baby elephant started screaming, and within a minute or two, a baby elephant appeared and tried to save its younger brother.
‘However, the lions wouldn’t let go of their meal, and the teenager eventually gave up and ran away in fear. Just then, the mother elephant appeared, and in her anger and strength, she rushed into the lions that were aggressively trying to ki.ll. the baby.
‘One of the lionesses quickly retreated, and the mother elephant screamed in anger and threw dust into the air.
‘The second lioness was held tightly and growled at her mother elephant. However, the elephant did not retreat, and eventually the lion gave up. The lion knew that she was no match for an angry adult elephant.
‘As the lions retreated, the mother elephant used her trunk to lift the baby. She sniffed the baby and checked again. The lions ran into the nearby bushes. The whole herd of six or seven elephants rushed into the bushes, and the lions ran away.
‘I knew I had a once-in-a-lifetime event unfolding before me. I was so busy just trying to take pictures.
‘At first, before the mother arrived, I was a bit sad but understood lions have to eat. Once I saw the mother elephant charging the lions, I knew they had no chance. ‘