This is the moment a herd of elephants plunges into the hippopotamus to gain their main position in a water hole.
The spectacular crash of giants in the wild was recorded on Sunday, August 9, at the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, South Africa.
Wildlife photographer Corlette Wessels, 47, was just a few meters away when a giant elephant began to make an exception in the presence of nearby hippos.
Seeing one of the herds in distress, a herd of elephants weighing several tons joined in chasing, causing the hippopotamus to race for safety.
Both the female elephant and some herd members are trying to capture the hippopotamus with their massive bodies.
But fortunately, the pachyderm’s peace arose as the hippos moved to a more muddy area of the watering hole.
Corlette, who lives in the Crocodile Nature Reserve, just north of Johannesburg, said it was the first time she’d seen anything like this.
She said: ‘I am not an expert on animal behavior, but I think this elephant was aroused with two hippos near where she was busy drinking.
‘The hippopotamus she chases after is called ‘Harry’ because you can identify it with its deformed teeth.
‘She taunted him at first and then quickly went into a tough chase where she chased him in the water, stabbed him with the trunk, and pushed him.
‘While she was chasing him, the other hippopotamus ran into the bushes. The other elephant herd was running towards the hippopotamus.
‘To be honest, I think they would k.ill the hippopotamus because the whole herd of elephants ran after the hippopotamus with aggression.
‘I couldn’t see much after they chased into the bushes, and it was only long before’ Harry ‘returned to the water hole with the cow elephant still chasing him.
‘He went into the thick mud, and everything subsided. The elephants blow the trumpets during this time. It was really crazy. It all happened so quickly.”
Corlette said the other hippopotamus also appeared later with some blood on his hip but unharmed.
She said: “I know both hippos and elephants are extremely dangerous and agile when they run. However, seeing both elephants and hippos run like this through muddy and terrestrial water is crazy and makes people understand how dangerous they are and how fast they are. Large animals can go from standing to full speed. It is a reminder to respect animals.”
“I’ve seen elephants aroused before with hippos but usually just a splash or swing of a trunk at them, but never like this, this is a complete act to k.ill hippos.”
Corlette, a business development manager for the solar energy business, runs with her husband and uses Nikon D750 with a Nikkor 70-200 lens.
She said: “I have been photographing wildlife since my late 20s, which is a big part of my life and passion. I try to go into the bushes as often as possible.”