This is the incredible moment an elephant saved one of its cubs from being attacked by a pack of hyenas.
The elephant was seen rushing to the herd of hyenas to chase them off from her cubs.
These amazing pictures were taken by American photographer Jayesh Mehta, 47, in the Savuti region of Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Jayesh said: ‘We heard the cries of the elephants in distress. As we left the track and headed towards the sounds of the bush, we saw a herd of 12-14 hyenas chasing a herd of about eight elephants.
The elephants were trying to run through the bushes. The baby closely followed the mother and the other elephants tried to be around the baby as much as possible.
They needed to stop for regular breaks – for the sake of the baby. They formed a circle around the baby each time.
The hyenas kept biting at him throughout the chase – tormenting him quite badly – especially his hind legs.
It was amazing to see some hyenas rushing from all sides to irritate the more giant elephants – and other hyenas trying to pounce whenever the larger elephants’ attention redirected.
Two adult elephants repeatedly swung their trunks aggressively at the hyenas but did not injure them.
We continue to closely follow the chase but keep a safe distance to avoid any human interference in this nature’s struggle. During the chase, which lasted nearly an hour, the elephants managed to chase the hyenas – but the hyenas found the elephants, and the chase resumed. In the end, the elephants escaped.
It was probably one of the most enjoyable experiences that pictures just can’t do it. Going through the bushes, we have some scratches and cuts.
Animal noises passing through bushes, the dust- some purposefully raised by elephants to obscure their position – and the sheer thrill of this mortal encounter were impossible believable.