Witness a Standoff of Giants as Massive Elephants and Rhinos Come Head-to-Head
There are some complicated relationship dynamics on display at this watering hole! As a group of human visitors look on, the battle for dominance between a group of rhinos and some elephants plays out. A young male elephant called Mambo has taken exception to the presence of the rhinos. We learn from the safari guide that this has happened before. However, he is not really big enough to take on such a powerful animal by himself. So, he ends up having to be backed up by his mom, Lundi, and possibly by some other females from the herd. Lundi tries her best to show the rhinos that she would prefer it if they left. Eventually, they get the message and trot away.
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Do Rhinos and Elephants Normally Fight?
Rhinos and elephants are both huge animals with the power to inflict a lot of damage on another body should they decide to get into a confrontation. Perhaps this is why they don’t do it that often! Most of the time elephants and rhinos just peacefully exist. However, we know that rhinos sometimes take measures to keep out of elephants’ way and will graze on different plants when elephants are around.
When rhinos and elephants to get into a confrontation, it is usually the elephant that is victorious. There are reports of rhinos receiving very nasty injuries from bull elephants in particular.
How Do Elephants Normally Behave?
The elephants in this clip are African elephants. They live in groups which often consist of a single female with her offspring. However, the group can include sisters and all of their offspring too. Elephant herds can be as large as 14 individuals but can be as small as just two. The male offspring leave the group when they are in their teens so Mambo will eventually have to leave his mom. There is a complex social hierarchy amongst the females and it is usually the oldest and largest female that is in charge.
Elephants are not territorial as such but they can make it very clear when they do not like the presence of another animal. Most of the time, elephants ignore herbivores such as antelopes and zebras and coexist quite peacefully with buffalos, bush pigs, and bushbucks.
Lundi is demonstrating typical elephant threat behavior in this clip. She is turning her head towards the rhino and spreading her ears while standing tall to make herself look as large as possible. You can also see her nodding and jerking her head and shaking her ears whilst swishing her trunk around. She is doing this to assert her dominance over the rhinos.