Dramatic footage captured by wildlife photographer Corlette Wessels, 47, shows a herd of elephants charging at a group of hippos to claim the prime spot at a watering hole in the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, South Africa.
The incident occurred on Sunday, August 9, and was witnessed by Wessels, who was just a few yards away from the action.
This is the moment a herd of elephants charged a bloat of hippos to claim the prime spot at a watering hole. Source: Daily Mail
According to Wessels, the elephants appeared to be irritated by the presence of the hippos and quickly became aggressive, charging at the animals with their massive trunks.
The hippos, recognizing the danger, raced for safety, with the female elephant and some members of the herd in hot pursuit.
The elephant’s bad temper quickly turned into a charge and the hippo was forced to turn and flee. Source: Daily Mail
The chase was intense, with the elephants managing to catch up to the hippos and hitting them with their trunks.
Fortunately, the situation was diffused when the hippos moved to a muddier section of the watering hole, and a pachyderm peace was established.
Wessels, who lives on Crocodile Nature Reserve, just north of Johannesburg, said she had never witnessed anything like this before.
She noted that while she had seen elephants become irritated with hippos in the past, she had never seen such a full-on charge with the intent to kill.
She said: ‘I am no expert in animal behavior, but I think this elephant cow was irritated with the two hippos being near where she was busy drinking.’ Source: Daily Mail
Both hippos were able to escape, with one returning later with some blood on its side but otherwise unharmed.
Seeing one of their herd in distress, several tonnes of elephant herd joined the chase, which saw the hippos race for safety. Source: Daily Mail
Wessels stressed the importance of respecting these large animals and being aware of their danger, as they can go from standing to full-speed charge in a matter of seconds.
Both the female elephant and some of the members of the herd managed to catch the hippos hitting them with their massive trunks. Source: Daily Mail
Wessels used a Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 70-200 lens to capture the incident, which she described as “crazy” and “insane.”
She has been doing wildlife photography since her late 20s and considers it a big part of her life and passion.
But thankfully, a pachyderm peace descended once the hippos moved to a muddier section of the watering hole. Source: Daily Mail
The incident serves as a reminder of the power and unpredictability of nature’s giants and the importance of respecting their space.