A Clash at the Watering Hole: Elephant Asserts Dominance Over Lioness

An unsuspecting lioness resting in the shade of a tree near a watering hole found herself in a precarious situation when a four-ton, 15-year-old bull elephant approached for an afternoon drink. The enormous elephant, standing 10 feet tall, was initially unaware of the lioness’s presence.

As the elephant drew nearer, the lioness found herself trapped between the water and the approaching behemoth.

She had to think quickly to avoid a potentially dangerous encounter with the thirsty elephant. In an unexpected move, she darted across the elephant’s line of sight, momentarily startling him.


However, the elephant soon recovered and charged to assert his dominance, chasing the lioness briefly before returning to quench his thirst.

Image 21
The lioness saw the thirsty giant approach and grew anxious.

British wildlife guide Mark Sheridan-Johnson, who was conducting a tour in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve at the time, captured the remarkable interaction.

Sheridan-Johnson described how he observed the lioness relaxing under the tree when he noticed the young bull elephant approaching in the distance.


As the elephant slowly made its way to the water’s edge, the lioness found herself trapped. The situation intensified as the elephant came within ten feet of her, prompting her to make a break for it.

Image 22
The lioness and elephant were blissfully unaware of each other at first.

The elephant, initially caught off guard, decided to give chase once he realized what was happening.

Fortunately for the lioness, her ability to reach speeds of up to 35 mph allowed her to escape unharmed. The elephant then continued with his evening drink.


Selous Game Reserve, the largest protected wildlife reserve in Africa, encompasses five percent of Tanzania’s total land area.

Image 23
The lioness decides she’s had enough and starts to make a run for it.

The remote reserve, located in southeastern Tanzania, features gushing rivers, rolling hills, and vast plains.

It was named in honor of British explorer Frederick Courtney Selous, who documented his travels in the region and was killed there during World War I.

Image 24
She bolted right across the 10ft elephant’s line of sight.
Image 25
After sufficiently scaring her off, the elephant returned to the water to finish getting a drink.
Image 26
Rather than scaring him off, the lioness’s dash had the elephant in hot pursuit.

Read more Elephant News.